The Mobile Police Department recognizes Amanda Salas as the Civilian Employee of the Month for August 2018. Joining the department in August 2017, Salas works in the Communications Unit as a public safety dispatcher. She is praised for her excellent work ethic, ability to remain calm under formidable circumstances and her attention to detail. During the month, she helped officers take a violent criminal off the streets.
On Aug. 7, 2018, Salas was assigned to dispatch on Precinct 3. At 9:46 p.m., an officer came across the air advising that she was at the 2800 block of Emogene Street with a victim who had been stabbed. The victim was bleeding severely from the lower back, arm and head. The suspect was still inside the location armed with a machete and was holding a woman and children hostage.
Salas immediately sprang into action and started additional units, and notified the sergeant and lieutenant of the situation. Mobile Fire-Rescue was also notified. The severity of the situation was evident when at 9:49 p.m. the officer asked for the estimated time of arrival for medical due to the victim bleeding out.
At 9:57 p.m., the lieutenant advised that the suspect was no longer at the scene and there was no hostage situation at the location. Units checked another residence for the suspect, necessitating the restriction and subsequent release of traffic. Units on the scene advised of the suspect’s description, and Salas kept meticulous details of everything said.
She was able to multi-task, keeping up with the details and requests pertaining to the call while dispatching other calls, starting units from other precincts when necessary and notifying the supervisors of calls holding.
Once on the scene, the K-9 Unit began tracking the suspect in the woods. At 11:22 p.m., the K-9 sergeant advised he had located the suspect who at this point had a gun to his head. A perimeter was set up and hostage negotiators responded to the scene. The magnitude of the intensity increased with each broadcast. The sheer duration of the call was immensely stressful.
Nonetheless, Salas did an outstanding job by remaining remarkably calm and her voice never wavered. She followed protocol and did everything that was expected of her. Although Salas has never been faced with a call of this magnitude due to just completing her probationary period by two days at the time of the incident, she performed like a seasoned dispatcher.
The suspect was taken into custody at 1:40 a.m. without further incident.