Austin Police Officer John O'Donnell - Thanks

May 5, 2016 - 11:10 am

To Sgt. Glen Kreger:
Just writing you a short note to commend and to share with you my thanks for one of the Water Patrol Officers that you supervise, that being: Officer John O'Donnell (No. 5947).

Yesterday evening (April 25th), as I was navigating my boat to the 360 Bridge Boat Launch-Ramps, my outboard motor's power-trim unit stopped functioning. I pulled in and tied up to the dock. Never before having encountered this problem, I didn't know of an alternative way to get the outboard motor raised enough into an upright position, so that while trailered, the propeller skeg would not be scrapping and riding on the pavement. A few other boaters at the ramp didn't have an answer either. Phone calls to my boat mechanic and my boat-owner cousins went unanswered. It started to sink in that this problem most likely was not going to allow me to get my boat home that night. I saw an Austin Police Patrol Boat going by and, and being desperate, I signaled it to come over. Officer O'Donnell came by and listened to my dilemma. Thereafter, he tied up his boat and graciously came over to mine and began with me to brainstorm a solution to the problem. He suggested we find a second power-trim on/off button on the side of the motor. But, I guess, my boat was too old of a modal to have one of those. Phoned two other friends, but they could offer no specific solution. I decided to get the boat up onto my trailer and asked Officer O'Donnell to guide me, as I crossed my fingers and slowly pulled it up the ramp, hoping that my skeg would not hit against the pavement. Unluckily it did. However, now we more clearly were able to view the bottom portion of the outboard motor. While I got into knee deep water to scan the bottom of the outboard  for anything that would look like a solution, Officer O'Donnell found a utube instructional video that had the exact answer needed. With that solution and my screwdriver we got the outboard fully and securely raised to the upright position. I was quite relieved knowing that I could now get my boat and trailer safely to storage at home. I was lucky to have Officer O'Donnell come along. And lucky that he didn't have to respond to any emergency calls, thus allowing him to assist with my ordeal.

Its refreshing to know that our Austin Police Department has such exceptionally good officers, as Officer John O'Donnell, who are ready to serve its citizens even in a non law-enforcement situation. Again, I commend him. And I thank both of you and the rest of the department for your service.