Police officer's quick thinking helps save high school's graduation ceremony

Posted at 9:01 AM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 12:08:16-04

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - An Escondido police officer's fast thinking and quick action saved the night for hundreds of high school graduates last Friday night.

Balloons got loose and hit some power lines, causing the power to go out in the middle of Escondido High School's graduation ceremony.

Escondido police Sgt. Shannon Martin was working security and got a call from dispatch about a fire at the high school. That's when he drove around the stadium to investigate.

"Sure enough, there were some charred balloons that knocked out the power to the school," Martin said.

He said the outage lasted for more than an hour. The public address system stopped, and the graduation ceremony came to a halt.

That's when Martin got an idea to offer the loudspeakers on his patrol SUV so that they could announce the graduates' names.

"It was just kind of spur-of-the-moment," Martin said. "They didn't have a PA available, and I was there. I don't know, it popped into my head and I (offered) and they said yes."

For several minutes, the ceremony continued through his car's loudspeaker, until the power eventually came back on.

"I don't know how many students got their names announced from a police loudspeaker," he said. "Everyone was thanking us for making it a very memorable graduation."

Matin said it was memorable for him, too. He also graduated from Escondido High, walking on the same field 22 years ago.

"It was a nice way to give back in a small way to the city and high school I graduated from," he said.