Two Officers Receive Life Saving Awards

Published on December 13, 2022

Officers Latka and Bilyeu flank Police Chief Darren McLaughlin and Mayor Bob Pape.

A woman had no pulse and was losing color in her face when Merriam Police Officers Chad Latka and Justin Bilyeu arrived at her home on Nov. 6.

The two officers saw drugs nearby and administered Narcan – an emergency drug to help with overdoses – before starting chest compressions and using an AED.

Latka and Bilyeu remained calm, communicated well, and continued chest compressions until medical workers arrived.

The woman’s pulse returned, and medical staff transported her to a local hospital in critical condition. Her health later improved.

“This incident was definitely a team effort,” Bilyeu said. “We recently had a training refresher on CPR and AED use, and I think the training allowed us to quickly move through each step that was needed through this incident.”

“We’re CPR certified every year, and we do refreshers,” Latka said. “This is our baseline training. I believe this saying to my core: we don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”


Latka and Bilyeu said it was an honor to receive the Life Saving Award. 

“Most of these situations don’t always turn out well,” Bilyeu said. “When we found out she survived, I was just proud of how we handled the situation that put her in the best possible condition before medical personnel took over.”

Merriam Police Chief Darren McLaughlin said their quick actions helped the woman survive her overdose. 

“I’m thankful that Master Police Officer Bilyeu and Officer Latka were able to arrive in time to give life-saving care to one of our residents,” McLaughlin said. “This is but one of the many examples of the outstanding work our officers are doing every day.” 

Latka said he was so happy to find out the woman survived.

“I was happy for her kids,” Latka said. “The woman was very young, and I can't imagine what it would be like as a kid to lose a parent.”


McLaughlin and the Merriam City Council on Dec. 12 honored Latka and Bilyeu with their life-saving efforts. They both received certificates and pins for their uniforms.