When the tornado hit Moore, Okla., on Monday, International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) members Andrew Terry, Jay Keehn, Michael Myers and David Carpenter were quick to respond to the tragedy in their hometown. All of the members of IUPA Local 3 offered their services, as did members of numerous other locals in the area. The response was so overwhelming that officials on the ground had to put many volunteers on standby.
Terry and Myers spent the next 12-plus hours searching for survivors, navigating the wreckage of their neighbors' homes while listening for possible noises among the debris. Keehn worked traffic and perimeter control, helping keep spectators out of dangerous areas while rescue missions took place, which wasn't easy after seeing what had happened to the town. Keehn told the Shawnee News-Star: “As far as you could see, everything was gone. Everything was demolished."
Jason Crouch, president of the Shawnee Police Association/IUPA Local 3, praised his members:
The officers in the Shawnee Police Department are all deeply committed to protecting the citizens of our city. They are equally committed to rushing to the support of their brothers and sisters in the emergency services. As tragic as the tornado damage has been and as deeply sorry for those who suffered grievous losses, we need to remember the brave commitment of all of our first responders. This is proof positive that these officers have a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week dedication.
The officers are very humble and don’t feel special in any way for doing what they did, as there are thousands of people in this area that have gone and helped the people affected by this tragedy. They told me they would rather have the attention placed on the victims from this storm rather than on themselves. We have, as do many departments across this nation, very dedicated and hardworking officers who would do anything for people in need. After all, that is why we do what we do.