'It wasn't an option, it was an obligation': Bodycam footage shows Waynesboro officer save baby
Wednesday, Feburary 5, 2020
(News 12 at 6/NBC at 7 o'clock)
WAYNESBORO, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Police body camera footage captures the moment a Waynesboro Police Department sergeant saved a 6-month-old who was fighting to breathe.
The officer and baby, once strangers, are now kindred through a life-changing moment at Dollar General.
"Okay, okay, you're okay," Sgt. Drummond can be heard saying on footage. A second responding officer, Jose Colon, also captured the moment on his on body camera.
"As I was looking down at that baby, I was looking at my grandson. I was looking at my children." Drummond said. "I was horrified."
Even sounds of shots ringing out could not match this officer's fear -- though unspoken, it pounded loudly in this moment.
"I would prefer to look down the barrel of a gun than to look down at a baby in distress," Drummond said.
Looking up back at him was 6-month-old AJ who was not breathing for minutes. And minutes feel like a lifetime when life itself is hanging on the line.
"The fact that I'm having this baby, holding this baby, the fact that I'm looking at the parents and they're begging me, asking me to help them." Drummond paused. "I was extremely nervous."
Body cam reveals how the emergency call started. Drummond heard the call come over the Burke County Sheriff's Office scanner. But he realized he was the closest officer, possibly closer than even EMS. Although the emergency was not for his agency, he jumped into action, quite literally.
Footage shows Drummond hopped out of his police car in front of the Dollar General. The family of baby AJ had jumped out of their's, too.
Drummond rushes over.
"What you got, what you got?" he questioned. AJ's dad Aerial responded, "we got a baby that isn't breathing." AJ's aunt handed him over to Drummond.
The Waynesboro officer had never done anything quite like this before, except in training. Drummond is only on year two as police segerant.
But maybe two was in his favor the night of Jan. 18. There was a pattern with that number.
Baby AJ is a child of two, a twin duo. Mom, Angel Collins, says his sister is always aware of when it's not around. She would not have been the same without him.
"Words can't describe how grateful and thankful we are," Angel said.
Two fingers through the stroke of CPR bonded two families at the corner of 6th Street. Drummond and AJ now bridged together
For the little who has barely gotten a chance to see life, it's only right he got shot number two to live.
And, it's all too much for words to their story justice, but perhaps two will suffice.
"Thank you," AJ's dad said. Explaining, it feels like that's all there is left to say.
"It wasn’t an option, it was an obligation."
Drummond explained his oath of office requires him to serve the community. Adding, he believes he did what any law enforcement
officer would have done.