Spradlin helped diffuse potentially deadly situation with armed, suicidal man, chief says
The Taft City Council awarded a commendation to police dispatcher Tanya Spradlin Tuesday night, honoring her for cool professionalism in handling a potentially deadly situation of an armed, suicidal man last month.
The council recognized Spradlin's “ heroic action and professionalism on Jan. 23 when a man called 911 and told her he was contemplating suicide.
The man, whose identity was not released, told Spradlin he was depressed over the loss of his job and visitation issues with his children.?He was in the parking lot at K-Mart, armed with a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle.
It can be a very dangerous situation, Whiting said.
“A lot of times it's a cry for help, but about 10 percent of the time it goes south,” Chief of Police Ed Whiting said.
Spradlin kept her cool, kept the man on the phone and dispatched officers.
She continued to talk to him, telling him to put the gun down on the seat and place his hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officers.
“She did an excellent job,” Whiting said. “She probably saved his life and kept the officers out of a deadly situation.”
Officers were able to take over the situation and the man was eventually transported to Kern Medical Center.?Whiting said the gun was loaded with a round in the chamber.
“Her cool head and professionalism prevailed,” said Whiting. “She just did an outstanding job. I can't say enough about it.”?That same afternoon, a suicidal young Buttonwillow man was shot and killed when he allegedly charged two deputies with a knife.