Mississippi police officer awarded for saving life of infant

Published 6:45 am Monday, February 13, 2023

A Mississippi police officer is being lauded for his quick actions to save the life of an infant.

Hattiesburg Police Chief Peggy Sealy awarded Hattiesburg Police Department’s Lt. Joe Kennedy with a Letter of Commendation for saving the life of the child.

On Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, Kennedy, a DEA Group Supervisor, and Forrest County Sheriff’s Department TFO Travis Breland were eating lunch at Mom and Dad’s Country Cooking in Petal, MS. While eating, a waitress frantically approached the men about an infant in the restaurant who was choking and unable to breathe.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The distraught mother was found holding her 16-month-old infant who appeared to be suffering from an acute medical emergency. The infant’s lips and face were turning a blueish-purple color and her eyes were beginning to roll into the back of her head.

Kennedy immediately took control, turned  the infant over, and began administering back blows to the child, and asked the mother to feel inside the infant’s mouth for any obstructions. The mother stated that she felt food in the infant’s mouth and attempted to remove it.

While she was attempting to remove the food, the infant was still in medical distress.

Kennedy and and the DEA Group Supervisor continued administering aid to the infant, and taking turns with back blows until the child’s airway was clear, and she began to breath.

The law enforcement officers stayed with the infant and the family until first responders and other EMS personnel arrived.
When the law enforcement officers prepared to leave the business establishment, you all were thanked by numerous patrons who echoed that you all “saved a life.”

A restaurant employee expressed the same sentiment and remarked, “God had you all here eating for a reason; thank you guys for everything.”

Further, the DEA Group Supervisor wanted to recognize Lt. Kennedy for unselfishly exhibiting the principles of the Hattiesburg Police Department and Core Values of Respect, Compassion, Leadership and Courage for those whom you are charged with to protect and serve. As a result of Lt. Kennedy’s quick response, act of heroism, knowledge, and compassion the infant is alive and well.

“As a result of your quick response, act of heroism, knowledge, and compassion, the infant is alive and well,” said Hattiesburg Police Chief, Peggy Sealy. “I would like to personally express my sincere appreciation for the fine job done by you.”
Congratulations Lt. Kennedy, and thank you for your hard work and dedication.