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Pelham Police Reflect on Dangers of The Job

PELHAM, N.Y. – Pelham Police officers are reminding the community of the dangers of their jobs following an accident that put a local police officer in critical condition.

Officer Michael Tillistrand was struck by a vehicle Tuesday at the intersection of Boston Post Road and Edgewood Avenue while he was assisting another officer during a traffic stop. He remained in critical condition Wednesday at Jacobi Medical Center.

Detective John Hynes of the Pelham Police Department said that such an incident makes a fellow officer think about the dangers of his job. But the first thoughts are always about the injured officer and the other police in his department.

“These are your coworkers, your friends,” Hynes said. “It’s almost like your second family.”

The detective said that although officers do not wake up in the morning planning to get hurt, there is always at least a small amount of fear or apprehension when an officer opens the door of a police car and steps out onto the street.

“You’d be foolish if you didn’t have that,” Hynes said.

Hynes said police officers learn from every call they receive, including false alarm calls and routine traffic stops, which he referred to as misnomers. He said during traffic stops, an officer could pull over a friendly Pelham resident and a drug dealer from New York City in the same day.

Tuesday night’s accident occurred on a dark road at night, and Hynes said that officers try to be safe when pulling people over in such conditions. He said the emergency lights on the police car help other drivers to see the officers and vehicles.

Sergeant Patrick Polese of the Pelham Police Department said that training is crucial for officers to be aware of all potential dangers because “the job can be so monotonous.” He expressed his sadness about Tillistrand’s accident and the fact that it occurred during a traffic stop.

“So many things can happen,” Polese said. “Something stupid like this could take a kid’s life.”

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