With two days left on the job, Sgt. Tom Mathisen was called in for a final life-saving mission after a 15-month-old boy fell into a backyard swimming pool.
The 40-year veteran of the force arrived at the home on Cliffrose Street in about a minute and was among the first responders to arrive. Pumped on adrenaline and trained in CPR, Mathisen performed CPR on the baby boy, who survived.
The sergeant has saved two other lives, both heart attack victims, during his career. He was never fired upon nor did he ever fire his gun at another person.
Mathisen grew up in Anaheim and joined the force in 1972. He said he wanted to become a police officer since he was a child, but it’s time to step aside.
"New people in need of being promoted, so the opportunity now is presenting itself for that to happen, so it’s like another generation coming on the department to take the lead," he said.
Still, he admits it’ll be difficult to retire.
"Part of the blood, I guess," Mathisen said with tears in his eyes.