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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
From left, Sheriff James R. Voutour, Chief John Swick, Deputy Shannan Zimmerman and Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti at the annual Lawman Dinner Saturday night. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)


On Saturday, the Judges & Police Executives Conference of Niagara County held its annual Lawman Dinner, honoring law enforcement officers from Niagara County who go above and beyond their duties. This year Chief John Swick, Middleport Police Department and Deputy Shannan Zimmerman, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, were honored for their heroism and were recipients of the Hon. Wesley Arnold Memorial Lawman of the Year Award.

On Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 at approximately 9:35 a.m., 911 calls were received at the Niagara County Communications Center reporting an apartment fire at 143 Telegraph Road in the Village of Middleport. Chief Swick and Deputy Zimmerman were dispatched to the scene and were told by communications that people were trapped inside the burning building.

Upon their arrival, they received information that occupants in an apartment had not exited the building. Both officers attempted to enter the front door of that apartment and were met with heavy smoke. Both officers ran to the rear of the apartment building and found the upstairs bedroom window open. Officers were able to yell to the resident, who advised that she had four children in the bedroom along with her sister.

Chief Swick instructed the resident to start handing the children out of the window and drop them into his arms. He was able to grab all four children and pass them to Deputy Zimmerman. Using a ladder Chief Swick was then able to have both remaining occupants exit the apartment. All six occupants of the apartment were transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation.

Due to the quick response and actions by these officers, all occupants were rescued safely.

“These two officers should be very proud of their actions on that day and the fact that they saved lives” commented Michael Filicetti, Judges & Police Executives Conference of Niagara County president.

During the awards dinner the new Board of Directors members were sworn in for the 2015-2016 term.

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