Young Eastside officer, Abelina Lopez, named Patrol Officer of the Month for her dutiful actions in three policing incidents

Tom Kennedy, Editor
Sgt. Jim DeMartin is pictured alongside Patrol Officer of the Month Abelina Lopez and Commander Elizabeth Lorenzana at the February general membership meeting. Photo by Gary Hicks

HPOU honored Eastside Officer Abelina Lopez as its Patrol Officer of the Month in the February general membership meeting, recognizing the young officer’s impressive actions taken to save a possible suicide victim, resuscitate an individual who wasn’t breathing and rescue a victim of continuous family violence.

Eastside Sgt. J. DeMartin told HPOU members that Lopez has been under his supervision since she got off probation. “I have continuously noticed that her compassion for others is second to none,” the sergeant said.

He then cited three notable examples from last August and September.

On Aug. 4 Lopez responded to a welfare check and found a pregnant woman attempting suicide by turning on gas outlets all over the house, planning to asphyxiate herself. Before the woman could complete the deadly task, Lopez talked her into turning off the gas and allowing her to enter the home. Lopez took the woman into protective custody without incident and secured an emergency detention order.

On Sept. 24, while working an extra job, Lopez discovered a homeless person not breathing. She immediately assisted another citizen performing CPR and the two worked diligently before HFD paramedics arrived and properly relieved them. Officer Lopez conducted a follow-up investigation at the hospital and determined that, sad to say, the individual died, DeMartin said.

Just two days later, the young officer responded to a family violence assault. The suspect was nowhere to be found as the complainant displayed her injuries and said she was trying to return to her mother’s home in Arizona but didn’t have money for the bus tickets.

Officer Lopez dug into her own pockets and paid for the bus tickets for the mother and her two young children, also supplying what the sergeant described as “a significant amount of money” for the family’s miscellaneous travel expenses.

The district attorney charged the suspect in the case with continuous family violence, but this individual remained at large.