Sunland Park officer praised as a hero for quick actions that saved a choking baby

El Paso News

A Sunland Park, NM police officer is being praised as a hero after he helped save the life of a choking baby Thursday morning.

“He is one of our newer officers, he is a gung-ho kind of guy,” said Sunland Park Police Chief Jaime Reyes.  

It started as off as a normal day for Officer Donald Venable.

He was responding to a domestic incident when the dispatch operator came over the radio with reports of a choking baby.

“Venable immediately left the domestic to respond to the choking child incident,” said Reyes.

When Officer Venable got to the home the baby’s grandmother was outside with the child.

The officer started to perform CPR and after a few tense moments the baby coughed up phlegm.

Thankfully Reyes said the baby is doing ok now.

“It happens more than what people think, the things we do in law enforcement,” said Reyes.

NewsChannel 9 requested an interview with officer Venable – but he declined — saying he was just doing his job; he didn’t do this for the publicity.

Still the Sunland Police Department wanted to highlight Venalbe’s quick action, so they posted a photo of the officer holding the infant to their Facebook page.

Since it was posted Thursday, (at of publishing) that Facebook photo already has over 4,000 likes and 1,000 shares.

A lot of people saying how proud they are that this came out of Sunland Park.

Oscar Lopez, owner of Rosa’s Cantina in West El Paso, even offered to pay for Venable’s lunch.

“It’s the least I could do,” said Lopez. “It is easy to criticize officers when something bad happens. We should praise them when something good happens.”

Lopez, who is a father of four, said seeing the post online hit close to home.

He said he couldn’t imagine something like that happening to his kids, but if it does, he wants a first responder like officer Venable.

“He did what he had to do, he should be appreciated for that,” said Lopez.

Lopez said officer Venalbe hadn’t taken him up on his free lunch, but he said the offer will be there whenever Venable wants it.

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