Chief Ed Mercer presents Robert Partin an award for bravery during the Juneau Police Department’s annual award ceremony on June 9, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Chief Ed Mercer presents Robert Partin an award for bravery during the Juneau Police Department’s annual award ceremony on June 9, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Man talks receiving Citizen’s Award for Bravery

Snowy streets and foul weather could have been a recipe for disaster.

A Juneau man was awarded the Citizen’s Award for Bravery by the Juneau Police Department during their annual awards ceremony last week for actions he took in February of 2021.

On that cold, foul-weather day, Robert Partin, who works in the behavioral health department at Bartlett Regional Hospital, directed traffic around officers who were trying to detain a suspect near the intersection of Egan Drive and Channel Drive.

“My wife was mentioning it to me because she had called 911 on someone on the road,” Partin said. “As I got to the bottom of Hospital Drive I saw them running, and the squad cars.”

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Partin, a Marine infantry veteran, said he’s not unused to jumping into situations.

“I had originally seen them take the individual down. I noticed there were people driving by focused solely on that. There was potential incidents. I realized it’d be more beneficial for me to stand by and direct traffic,” Partin said. “I’m kind of used to jumping into things. That last year, there were a few incidents with traffic.”

Partin got out of his car and directed cars around officers while they worked to get the subject into a squad car.

“My biggest concern was that there was snow on the ground,” Partin said. “This was one of the worst winters we’ve had in a while.”

Partin said he was concerned by passersby, many of whom were pulling out their phones to take photos or videos while still driving.

“The biggest surprise is seeing how people handle emergencies, driving recklessly,” Partin said.

Partin said he didn’t think much of the incident afterward, and would have put it completely in the past, if someone hadn’t tagged him in a video of the incident. JPD later contacted him, before presenting him with the Citizen’s Award for Bravery last Thursday.

“I didn’t really expect anything,” Partin said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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