NYPD Officer Benjamin Beiro Jr. ’11 Saves A Marathon Runner’s Life

NYPD Officer Benjamin Beiro Jr. ’11 Saves A Marathon Runner’s Life

NYPD Officer Benjamin Beiro Jr. ’11 Saves A Marathon Runner’s Life

All of Benjamin Beiro’s ’11 training—from his classes at John Jay and his training at the New York City Police Academy—came into play when he got a 911 call alerting him and his partner, Nicholas Noto, that there was an unconscious male in Central Park. The two NYPD officers jumped into action, quickly following a crowd of runners waving them through to the unresponsive 44-year-old marathoner. As Beiro performed chest compressions, Noto, readied the defibrillator. After a cycle of chest compressions, and a shock from the defibrillator, the runner came back to life. We sat down with a Beiro, a true John Jay/NYPD hero, to learn more about his journey, his job, and his experience saving a life.

“I grew up with a lot of respect for law enforcement and John Jay because my dad retired from the NYPD and he’s also a John Jay alumnus.” —Benjamin Beiro  Jr.

Can you tell us a little about your life growing up? What was Officer Beiro like before John Jay and before the NYPD?
I was born in the Bronx, near Our Lady of Mercy. When I was 11 years old, I moved to Florida. High school was fun in Florida. I played baseball and I spent a lot of time at the beach. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and I think that’s where I get all my laidback demeanor from—which is pretty helpful being a police officer. I grew up with a lot of respect for law enforcement and John Jay because my dad retired from the NYPD and he’s also a John Jay alumnus (Benjamin Beiro  Sr. 78). He was a homicide detective and I’m a patrolman in Central Park right now.

Benjamin Beiro

What are some of your best memories from your time at John Jay?
My best memories are the three years that I played baseball at John Jay. It was fantastic. When I came back to New York City, I was on my own and it was a whole new place. My teammates and classmates became my family. I also really enjoyed all of my Psychology classes. Studying the human mind really appealed to me at the time, and I think they helped me in my career. Interaction is huge part of policing. Those classes showed me how to read people better. You gain an understanding of how to approach and talk to certain individuals. Being able to talk to people can deescalate a whole situation in a fraction of a second. I’ve been in a lot of instances with irate people, and they really just want to talk to someone. I let them talk and vent out their frustrations. You talk to them, clear up the confusion, and nothing has to get worse than it is. No one gets arrested, no one gets hurt, everyone’s safe, everyone gets to go home and get a good night’s sleep. 

What do you love about being an NYPD officer?
Every day in the NYPD, I know I’m in the place where I’m supposed to be. Each day I feel like I help the city in my own way—whether it be something as simple as giving someone directions, or something as big as helping to save someone’s life. Every day you try to make your little impact on the world. If you make one person smile in a day, that’s all that matters. You’re helping somebody. I also like the camaraderie I have in the NYPD. Right now I’m on the NYPD rugby team. We play club teams and other PDs. We played the Jersey State Troopers. The FD is the biggest game of the year. Last year we even went to Bermuda and played the Bermuda PD. We’re pretty good and we play hard.

“Seeing someone going from no movement and no responses, to actually talking to them is an incredible feeling.” —Benjamin Beiro  Jr.

Can you walk us through the day when you saved the runner’s life?
It was in my study sector, the lower part of the park or Adam/Boy. Luckily, we happened to be going in the direction of the runner at the time, and we got a radio call about an unconscious male on the floor of the West Drive in Central Park. We had a group of runners flagging us over to show us the direction of where the gentleman was located. When we got there, we initially saw a crowd and then we saw a male laying on the ground. He looked like he was unresponsive. We checked and there was no pulse. He wasn’t responding to anything. Immediately, I began chest compressions and my partner began to prep the AED device, which is the defibrillator. After about a cycle of chest compression and one shot of the AED and a couple more chest compressions, the gentleman came out and back to life. He was good to go to the hospital and he was doing well. 

Benjamin Beiro

What was going through your head during the rescue and after he became conscious?
While I was giving the chest compressions, it was just a whirlwind of adrenaline and pressure. You’re trying to save someone’s life at that point, and you want to make sure you’re doing everything right. Your training just kicks in. We’re trained at the academy, and then every year we go back to get refreshed on the basic lifesaving skills. After the ambulance came and they took him to the hospital, I was thinking, did this really happen? Seeing someone go from no movement and no responses, to actually talking to them is an incredible feeling.

Have you seen the runner since you saved his life?
I saw him about a month ago. He came to the precinct and thanked us. It was a moment full of emotion, and it was good to see that he was doing alright. He was 44 years old and a runner, he didn’t know that he had an issue with his heart. When it happened, he was almost done running 18 miles. Now he can take all the proper measures to stay healthy, and he’s looking to get back into running.

Do you have any words of advice for John Jay students hoping to join law enforcement?
Be yourself. Be personable. Treat people like people. Sometimes people get lost having a shield and they get on a real power trip, but we’re just people like everyone else. Treat people with respect. If we can learn to do that, we can interact better, and hopefully form better bonds. Everyone has their own story, we just have to find a way to talk to them and reach them.

Finish this sentence for me, “Without John Jay…”
Without John Jay I’d probably be somewhere on a beach being a bum—just a permanent vacation.

Hear more about Officer Beiro ’s experience and journey.