Posted Online: May 14, 2013, 8:10 pm

Moline officer honored for life-saving response

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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

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Photo: John Greenwood
Moline police chief Kim Hankins presents police officer A. David Griggs, Jr. with the Life Saving Award Tuesday evening at the start of the committee of the whole. He saved a woman, about to drive into the frigid Mississippi River, from doing so, getting his foot on the brake pedal and getting both of them out of the car.
Moline Police Officer A. David Griggs, Jr., was honored Tuesday by the Moline City Council with a Life Saving award and lauded for his dedication and commitment to the city and its residents.

With the department for 14 years, Officer Griggs said he wasn't looking for recognition but was glad he was able to help.

Moline Police Chief Kim Hankins said Officer Griggs saved the life of a suicidal woman who was ready to drive into the Rock River on March 31.Chief Hankins said Officer Griggs found the woman's car at 3:46 a.m. on the boat ramp, facing the river, near the former Harold's on the Rock.

"You knew that if the woman decided to drive forward, her vehicle would be in the river in a matter of seconds," Chief Hankins said.

Officer Griggs opened the woman's car door and pulled the keys from the ignition, Chief Hankins said. When the woman took her foot off the brake and the car began to roll toward the water, Officer Griggs jumped in the car, applied the brakes and stopped it -- "but not before the front tires had gone into the river," Chief Hankins said.

"There is no doubt that, if the woman had gone into the water in the vehicle, she would have lost her life," the chief said. He added that quick actions by Officer Griggs, and a "willingness to put yourself in harm's way, knowing full well the risk" showed his commitment to helping others.

Also on Tuesday, aldermen gave initial approval to changing the city's residency requirement for department directors. They now must live in Moline. All other employees must live within 20 miles of Central Fire Station.

The amendment, if approved at a future city council meeting, would let employees promoted to a department director continue to live within 20 miles of the fire station.

The measure passed 5-1 with Ald. Stephanie Acri, At-Large, opposed. She said the amendment's original intent -- to ensure policy-making employees have a full, working knowledge of the city -- "serves the public well."

Ald. Kevin Schoonmaker, 6th Ward, was absent and the 3rd Ward seat is vacant.

Ald. John Knaack, 1st Ward, also was named as mayor pro-tem.


Council acts on John Deere Road project

Moline aldermen on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to four items related to the John Deere Road widening project, scheduled to begin this fall:

* Using $238,930 in motor fuel tax funds to pay for Moline's share of the project's cost;

* Approving the Illinois Department of Transportation plans for the project;

* Accepting the transfer of 41st Drive Connector and 41st Avenue to drive from IDOT after construction is complete; and

* Adding the two roads into the city's street system.