KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Destruction, chaos and death is what some of Kansas city’s finest ran toward the night a deadly EF-5 tornado leveled a third of Joplin last year.
Thursday night, more than 100 members of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department were honored for their bravery.
Many who have seen the destruction in Joplin first-hand say pictures and video don’t do it justice.
It’s the eight deadliest tornado to hit, in U.S. History.
KCMO police department officers, who traveled to Joplin to help, recalled seeing the damage up close.
“The very first thing we saw was a lot of devastation. It was almost unimaginable,’ said traffic enforcement officer George McCall Jr.
“I just couldn’t believe how much damage there had been,” said Captain Mike Wood.
Wood was at a friend’s house that fateful night of May 22. That friend, who also works for the department, had family living in Joplin. Wood headed to Joplin immediately following the deadly twister.
“It’s in the top two, or three most rewarding things I’ve ever done on the police department,” said Wood.
The department’s police chief at the time Jim Corwin, made the decision to send more than 100 members of the department to help out.
None really knew what they were in for, but they all went anyway.
The department says they had limited supplies and no idea what their duties would be, or even where they would sleep.
They just knew the people of Joplin needed them.
They guarded the much-publicized St. John’s hospital. They help set up radio communication that the knocked out by the tornado. They enforced traffic and helped maintain order. That’s why during the KCMO police department’s award ceremony recognizing bravery, each one was given a certificate of commendation, for spending weeks apart from their own families to help our neighbors 150 miles away.
“It was nice to be able to go down and assist those people in their time of need,”said Captain Mike Wood.