Naperville police officers detail retention pond rescue

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Body camera footage recently made public shows the harrowing action of three Naperville police officers responding to the call of an SUV that had driven into a retention pond just outside the 95th Street Library on Jan. 2, around 1 p.m.

“People always been asking, ‘How cold is the water?’ and after that initial feeling of going in, adrenaline kicked in and I didn’t even feel anything until I got out,” said Officer Mark Schumacher, one of the officers on the scene that day.

Retention pond rescue press conference

In a press conference today, officers Officer Allison Simko, Courtney Madden, and Mark Schumacher recounted what happened.

“The mom was yelling for someone to call 9-1-1. She was alerting anyone standing by that her baby was in the vehicle,” said Officer Simko. “I think when you hear that, you’re, more likely to call 9-1-1, which I think was excellent on her part, letting everyone know who was in the vehicle. We were just a few blocks away when we got the call so it was a couple minutes at most that they were in the water by the time we got there,” said Officer Simko.

Race against time

As the officers approached the vehicle, they struggled to open the doors, which they believed was due to water pressure. It was now a race against the clock to find a way to get the husband, wife and two year-old daughter out quickly.

“The closer we got, we could see her little ponytail stick out over the seats,” said Officer Madden. “We just had to get in there and get her.”

“You hear a car in a retention pond and people in it, your heart just sinks and then add the element of a two-year-old, you’re going to do anything you can to assist in any way,” said Officer Shumacher.

Hailed as heroes

The first responders managed to break a back window. They said doing so seemed to alleviate the pressure, allowing them to then open the doors to get everyone out.

Now being hailed as heroes, these officers are just happy for the outcome, given the situation could have been much worse.

“We really appreciate it but we’re just doing our job. We happened to be in the right place, right time that day,” said Officer Madden.

According to Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres, the officers will be receiving some sort of internal department award, though details of that award are to be determined.

Here’s the original story NCTV17 reported when the accident first happened.

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