Monday, November 30,  1998

Rookie Cops Deliver Baby In Cruiser

(Philadelphia)--Two rookie police officers with less than a year on the force got  the surprise of their young careers Sunday morning when they delivered a baby girl in the back seat of their cruiser.

Geraldine Brooks of southwest Philadelphia gave birth to a premature baby girl at about 9:30 a.m., next to police officer Martin Connors who used her boyfriend's coat to catch the baby.

"Our instructor at the police academy told us there might come a time when we'd have to deliver a baby. At the time, a few of us chuckled,''

 Connors said. "I always thought it wouldn't happen to me."

Frederick Salters held his girlfriend's hands while she gave birth to their first child. "It's something I'll always remember,'' said Salters, 37.

"It was over quick. ... I don't know what I would have done without the officers.''

Salters, a father of two others, said this was the first birth he had witnessed.

Connors, 34, and his partner, 22-year-old officer Joseph Dalessio -- who have a combined 11 months on the force -- were getting coffee at a 7-Eleven in southwest Philadelphia when Salters asked them to rush his pregnant girlfriend to the hospital.

Ms. Brooks, who also has two other children, had arranged to meet her midwife at a hospital about 30 minutes away. But, after riding two blocks down the street, she realized that she wouldn't make it. The officers then pulled over and shuttled Ms. Brooks into the back seat of  their car.

"I think they were as nervous as I was when I told them what was going on, Salters said.

The officers had called for an ambulance, but the baby dropped into Connors' outstretched hands within minutes.

"It was her third child. She knew the baby's head was in the birth canal. ... She talked us through it, telling us what was going on all the time," said Connors, who worked as an emergency medical technician before joining the force in June. "I was actually praying the paramedics would get there in time,'' he said.

Connors wrapped the baby with Salters' work coat.

"Well, it's something to remember it by,'' Salters said, describing the coat as no longer wearable.

At the police academy, cadets undergo extensive medical training -- including first aid, CPR and how to assist in a birth. Still, such surprise births are rare, according the officers' supervisor, Lt. Joseph Dilacqua.

"I've been with the force 23 years, I've heard about something like this once or twice,'' he said. "You hear about this in a lot of  other cities and other police departments, but you never think it will happen to you.''

Although the baby, who had not been named yet Sunday afternoon, was two weeks premature, Salters said it still seemed to be the best time to give birth: the day before his girlfriend's birthday. She turns 27 on Monday.    

"She's very happy,'' he said.

(C) Associated Press.





Trust me, monk; I was shitting my pants when all this happened.  Your grandmother called from Las Vegas saying she had seen me on CNN.  Your other grandmother called your mother saying that my partner and I were on the Today Show on NBC.  There's talk that we're getting commendations ... but it's not something to let go to your head.  I tried telling my partner that but ... you can only tell someone so much.  I admit I had a large head about it and all, but I had to calm down ... no sense pissing off a fellow co-worker.



I haven’t written in this journal of yours for a few months. I wasn’t that I had nothing to say or forgot to write down the things that have been occurring; it’s that I have been busy.  It’s like what John Lennon sang “ Life is what you have while you’re busy making other plans”.  I hope one day you’ll understand.


My friend Dawn lost her son the other day.  He died.  She is going through what I fear the most, and that is losing you.


You’re getting quite big now, and quite smart.  I am impressed with you everyday.  You’re mother wants you enrolled in Pre-K, I really don’t want you to go, but I think that’s because I want you to stay a baby ... my monkey boy.  I love you.



Last week you were bitten by a dog down the street.  I was at work chasing bad guys and such, when this happened.  Actually, Elby (my partner) and I were backing up another officer on a car stop.  This 13 year old kid took his mother’s car and drove like a nut.  Elby and I saw this red Ford Probe, driving backwards from 67th Street onto Paschall Avenue, then the other officer following behind.  After we got through, I turned to Elby and told him I wasn’t feeling so good and to we should go back to headquarters.  When we got back, I was told that Grand pop was on the phone.  I had to call him back and found out mommy had you at the hospital. 


When I got to the hospital I called for a police officer to take the report, and then took you to St. Christopher’s ER for treatment...which also included Rabies shots.  Timmy, my heart was broken I thought you were hurt more then you were.  You were hurt enough.  You had 2 bites on your chest, a bad scratch on your right arm, and another bite on your leg.  I feel like I let you down by not being there to protect you.



Yesterday, in Los Angeles, a gunman went into a pre-school at a Jewish community center and shot five people.  Of the five that were shot, three were children, young boys about your age.  The other two were a 16 year old girl and older woman.  The police still do not know why he did what he did; one can only wonder.  On days like this you can almost feel when something will happen.

It was my dream to become a cop, ever since I was about your age.  The earliest memories of my father are those of him in his police uniform.  If you decide to follow in my footsteps, I will support your choice; as long as you are a good person.  Just please stay away from drugs, please, you have too much to live for then to become a bane of society.



Here we are at the dawn of a new millennium.  Nineteen years ago, I was 16 years old, John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman.  Today, at 3 a.m. London time, George Harrison was stabbed, by a burglar.  It makes me think of that time, when I cried thinking of a man I never met, but who influenced me to write and want something more for my life.  The doctors say George Harrison is stable.  The burglar, a 33 year old man from Liverpool ( Harrison’s home town), is in the hospital with injuries of his own.  It’s reported on ABC World News, that Harrison caught the man in his reclusive estate 30 or so miles outside of London.  It’s hard when your heroes die.  But you can never lose the faith.



The other day on the 3rd, I along with other police officers from the 12th District and the rest of the department received awards from the FOP for services.  I was very proud of the honor to meet the mayor (even though I don’t care for his politics), Deputy Commissioner Mitchell, Judge Seamus McCafferty, and FOP president Rich Costello.  The reason I was there was for delivering the baby in November, 1998.  It took awhile but it was well worth it.  Of course they got me and Dalessio confused (again).  As Sgt. Bowman said to me, “You’re joined at the hip now.”


I got a letter from Commissioner Timoney last month for professionalism.  No biggie. Yeah, right.  I framed it.  I just wish you were there at the FOP dinner, but I took your mother instead.  Just kidding.  You would have been bored with people commenting about how much you look like a mini-me.


Right now at this moment you’re trying to push my buttons by not eating ... I think I’ll send you to bed.




Well Monk, talk about surprises!  Last week your mother was complaining of cramping and bleeding...I’ll explain this all to you when you’re older.  But anyway, your mother is going to have another baby.  The week before you were walking up to mommy and saying, “You got a baby in your tummy.”  You have the witch in you for sure.  You’re wish for a baby’re funny.




There won’t be a baby.  It turned out your mother had an ectopic pregnancy, also called a tubular pregnancy.  She needed emergency surgery the other night.  You spent the night with Kelly and then Meg; finally Grand pop took you for the weekend.  I had to take vacation time to be around to either take care of mommy or clean up the house.  Mommy was sad because she wanted another baby, but it was that or risk mommy’s health unnecessarily.





It’s been awhile since I had written to your journal.  I can’t say why it took so long to write a simple paragraph or two about your life.


You started school last September and were in the kindergarten for about 2 weeks.  The powers that be at Nativity felt it would be best for you to be put into pre-K.  So for the next 9 months your mother and I had some arguments with the ninny nuns that felt you were too free spirited.


We signed you up for Soccer.  You seemed to enjoy that sport quite a bit.


You love Clifford the Big Red Dog.  You drew a great picture of him in school. 


For Halloween you went out trick or treating as the Red Power Ranger Lightspeed.  Your mother and I ran all over to get you the costume and ray gun.



I got on the bike squad and of course you had to try on my equipment.

We took you to the beach and for the second or third time on the sand and surf you began to like it.

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