On September 18, 2008, the City of Alexandria Kiwanis Club honored Officer Jeetpal Panesar as its Officer of the Year. Officer Panesar was selected as Officer of the Year for his heroic and admirable actions at the scene of a crash involving an overturned vehicle.
On February 2, officers were dispatched to the 4600 block of Duke Street for a crash involving two cars. Officer Panesar was the first officer on the scene. As he approached the scene, he observed that there were two children trapped inside of an overturned vehicle and one of the children was suspended upside down by a seatbelt. Officer Panesar noticed that the seat belt was wrapped around the childs neck and was cutting off circulation.
He immediately reacted by trying to open the door of the vehicle, but due to the damage caused by the accident the door would not open. Officer Panesar calmly used his expandable baton to break the window. As the window broke, several glass fragments shattered onto his face and into his eyes. Officer Panesar did not hesitate and proceeded to use his utility knife to cut the seat belt and release the child from her suspended position.
INOVA Alexandria Emergency Room Pediatric Staff later confirmed that the quick response of Officer Panesar saved the childs life.