Jamestown city council honors police officer
JAMESTOWN — The city police officer who helped people out of a burning building and to safety last week was honored by the Jamestown City Council.
On Monday, the council and Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist recognized Jamestown Police Department officer Mark Conklin with a special resolution and proclamation to show their appreciation for his work to help two people from a housefire in the early morning hours of July 19 on William Street.
Sundquist thanked Conklin for his heroic service while in the line of duty.
“He has truly gone above and beyond as a city employee and a police officer,” Sundquist said as Conklin’s parents, sister and girlfriend attended the proclamation presentation.
Anthony Dolce, council president, said Conklin is the second city worker this year who has rescued people from the second floor of a fire. In March, Joseph Pollaro, a Public Works Department employee, helped two people from a burning building on the corner of Washington and West Seventh streets.
“I’m very proud to say Mark (Conklin) is a graduate of Jamestown High School,” Dolce said.
About two dozen police officers attended the proclamation ceremony honoring Conklin, who thanked everyone for their support.
The resolution passed by the council states that while handling a call for service on Baker Street, Conklin was alerted to a possible house fire, ran to the scene with no hesitation and showed quick-thinking and a selfless nature, advising those in the home to jump from the burning building where he caught them.
Conklin stayed until the Jamestown Fire Department was on the scene and assessed the situation safe before he left. Upon leaving, he went and resumed his workday and maintained a humble attitude throughout.
Last week, Brooke Lucas, one of the people Conklin helped from the burning building, said she was thankful for what Conklin and a neighbor did to help her family escape the fire.
“They did what they could. They are amazing,” she said.
Following the incident, Timothy Jackson, Jamestown Police Department chief and city public safety director, said Conklin’s actions were heroic. The department released Conklin’s body camera footage of him running toward the fire and encouraging two people on the second floor of the house to jump.
“After watching the video of this incident and speaking to others involved, I can say that the actions of officer Conklin were, to say the least, one of the most outstanding examples of bravery, heroism and exemplary service I have seen,” Jackson said. “We, the Jamestown Police Department, are honored to have officers such as Mark Conklin working in the Jamestown Police Department.”
While the residence was destroyed in the blaze, the family inside escaped without serious injury. They were all transported to UPMC Chautauqua for treatment of smoke inhalation but later released
Conklin, a 2013 Jamestown High School graduate, during an interview with The Post-Journal last week, said it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. The four-year veteran of the department — the first two in court security and the last two as a patrolman — was returning to his vehicle on Baker Street after completing a service call when notified of the possible fire.
As a police officer, Conklin has come across a few “high-intensity calls,” but nothing like the scene he encountered on William Street. After relaying to dispatch details of the blaze to get firefighters en route, he grabbed a child near the entrance of the home and moved them to safety. After circling back around he yelled for two people trapped inside to jump.
When the first person leaped into his arms, it accidentally turned off his body camera. The entire rescue took less than a minute-and-a-half.