As a founding member of Pembroke Pines Police Department’s Crisis Response Team, Sgt. John Baker has spent nearly two decades helping his fellow officers when tragedy strikes.
This time, the tragedy involves Baker.
“It’s ironic in that way,” said Pembroke Pines police Capt. Al Xiques. “John’s the one who would be helping his fellow officers cope with a tragedy.”
Over the weekend, Baker, a 25-year-veteran of the force who oversees the Traffic Unit and is one of the agency’s public information officers, was critically injured in a crash at 146th Avenue and Sheridan Street. Baker, who was on his police motorcycle, was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital after the 7 a.m. crash Saturday and was in critical but stable condition, the department said Monday. The driver of the other vehicle involved, a car, wasn’t hurt.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash. And though many details have yet to be released, Xiques said Monday that the department has learned that Baker had the right of way.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been created to financially support his family as he recovers.
“Sgt. Baker has had a 25 plus year career in law enforcement and has spent countless years helping others...now its our turn to help him!” Christopher Komp, a fellow officer and Police Benevolent Association Representative wrote on the page.
A day after the crash, Komp gave an update on Baker’s condition.
“John has slightly improved but will remain in intensive care for an extended period of time,” he said. “The severity of John’s injuries will impact him and his family for the rest of his life.”
The department did not go into specifics about Baker’s injuries, just saying he suffered severe trauma. Xiques said it will be “a long road to recovery.”
Xiques said Monday night that Baker is an “exceptional” officer and the “most compassionate, caring and jolly person you can meet.”
Baker’s daughters spoke to reporters Monday about the ordeal.
His daughter Tabitha Baker said they are focusing on his recovery: “We are going to concentrate on getting him healed.”