YPD earns ‘life-saving’ gift

Citizens Police Academy funds new AED devices

Yukon Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (YCPAAA) members present a gift to the Yukon Police Department to purchase new automated external defibrillators (AEDs): From left, Suzanna Dooley, Cam Dooley, Cathy Reynolds, Yukon Police Chief John Corn, Maj. Curtis Lemmings, YCPAAA President Wes McAtee, Deputy Chief John Brown, Genie Vinson, Steve Pezalski, Shari Johnson, and Patty Clements. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A police citizens’ support group is literally making a life-saving contribution to the Yukon Police Department.

Members of the Yukon Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (YCPAAA) on July 6 presented a large monetary gift to the YPD for the purchase of new automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

“This is a great benefit to our community and our department,” Yukon Police Chief John Corn said. “We’re very appreciative of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni for taking the initiative to do this. They went out, wrote some grants and solicited donations.

“The Yukon Rotary Club did some fund-raising and received a matching grant through the district office. There were a lot of people involved in making this all happen.”

Each unit costs more than $1,800, and there are recurring costs such as new pads and battery packs.

“These aren’t cheap; they’re expensive devices,” Yukon’s police chief noted.

In 2022, the YCPAAA launched a campaign to raise $18,187.50 for 10 of these devices. Ten units would enable officers on each YPD shift to have working AEDs in their vehicles and one at the police station.

“Five units are in service right now,” Chief Corn said. “Since they were able to obtain them and they’ve been delivered, they’ve been deployed in the field twice already.

“The AED is a life-saving tool that the officer doesn’t have to have specialized training to operate. We keep one in our jail at all times in the event there is an inmate or staff in distress. The rest of them are deployed in the field.”

The YPD has long needed to replace its aging AED inventory.

“We had to do a complete overhaul and upgrade just to get new machines in the field,” Corn added.

The devices are placed inside YPD patrol vehicles.

“We wanted to help serve the community and the best way to do that was to help Yukon police officers give aid to people in medical distress situations,” YPCAAA President Wes McAtee said.

Tax-deductible donations for this AED project directly benefit Yukon Police.

“Our goal is 10, so we’ve reached the midpoint,” McAtee said. “We do have a commitment for two more.

“We’re finding out now that the cost of the pads is quite expensive, so we’re trying to raise some funds to support that too.”

Advertisement“This is a great benefit to our community and our department,” Yukon Police Chief John Corn said. “We’re very appreciative of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni for taking the initiative to do this.


Police patrol officers are frequently first “on the scene” of medical emergencies so they must start to render aid, McAtee pointed out.

Once the fire department arrives, these AED units can be switched over so lifesaving aid is not interrupted.

“It just seemed appropriate that the officers in their police cars have the equipment to help with medical issues,” McAtee said.

The life cycle of these new AED devices is three to five years.

“It’s a great program,” Chief Corn emphasized. “These devices have proven to be a life-saving tool. With our officers on the street and being readily available, if a medical call comes out and it’s a cardiac arrest, they may be just around the block or right down the street.

“Just having this type of tool gives our officers the opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life.”

As a tax-exempt organization, the YCPAAA raises funds to help supply the YPD with desired items that often are outside the regular budget.

The group previously helped provide bicycles for the police bike patrol, drones and other equipment.

Yukon Citizens Police Academy Alumni now has about 25 members.

The next academy will be offered this fall to Yukon residents interested in learning more about the YPD and the police profession. Eight weekly sessions are being planned.

Alumni members are encouraged to complete an advanced academy.

For more information, call McAtee at (405) 517-6229 or email yukonokycpaaa@gmail.com .