BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Several Baton Rouge police officers were honored Wednesday for their bravery and selflessness while wearing the badge.
"We can't recognize our first responders enough," said East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.
Among them were Cpl. James Rowe. With the help of his partner, Cpl. Hue Pham, Rowe was caught on camera giving food to a hitchhiker on Tom Drive at Airline last month. They also bought clothes and a hotel room out of their own pocket to get the woman out of the cold.
"That's what our first responders are doing," said BRPD Chief Murphy Paul. "That's what the Baton Rouge Police officers do every day."
It's a story that was first featured on 9News and Rowe says the recognition he has received since then is far beyond anything he ever thought possible. "We feel good about it you know," said Rowe. "Anytime somebody says good job or any of that other type of stuff, we appreciate that."
Perhaps the more touching moment came when the family of 51-year-old Jason Green gave a touching tribute to the men and women who saved his life. Green was hit by a train two weeks ago on Scenic Highway and four officers were on the scene within 20 seconds.
"The family, friends, and loved ones would like to give a special thanks," said his cousin, Will Simmons.
Corporals Mark Cummings, Jace Decote, Scott Johnson, and Ivila Tomic all worked to free Green from the tracks and even pulled him from underneath the moving train. Simmons says it's important they know how vital their role was in saving his life. "They kept him alert and they kept him alive until EMS got there," Simmons added.
Green remains in the hospital now, but has been removed from the ICU. He lost both legs and his right arm in the incident and will likely need prosthetics, but his family says he is here and that's all that matters.
WAFB's Scottie Hunter asked Simmons how thankful he is that his family member survived the horrific ordeal. "Oh man… I just can't even," Simmons replied. "Words can't describe it."
The family says what also matters is giving credit where it's due. With a handshake for all the officers involved, they say the brave men and women who helped their loved one deserve that and so much more. "What if they had not been there," said his other cousin, Thisia Simmons. "We would be attending a funeral rather than being here."
On a day reserved for love, it's a message they hope will resonate this Valentine's Day.
"These people putting their life on the line every day," said Thisia. "They're doing a job I couldn't even think about doing."
The officers say they did not engage in the acts for the recognition, but rather consider it part of their daily responsibility.