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Phoenix police officer makes water rescue with wife during ride-along

The Maleckis’ said they don’t know what caused the family’s car to roll into the canal but did say it was extremely dark and narrow in that area.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 7:56 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Phoenix police sergeant found himself with an unusual partner on an emergency call - his wife! He had taken her on a ride-along when a call came in that a family, including a child, was trapped in the canal after their car rolled over. Now the couple is talking about it.

It’s not often Sgt. Malecki takes his wife to work; in fact, this was just her 2nd time ever going on a ride-along. Sometimes officers take family members or community members along to show them how the job works, but just as this couple’s ride was seemingly ending, the beginning of their unforgettable night began.

“Yep, hang on! I’m going to help you right now! I’ve got you, hang on, hang on!” you can hear in the video. Body camera footage shows the chaotic moments as a water rescue began.

Phoenix police rescue a family stuck in a canal
Phoenix police rescue a family stuck in a canal(Phoenix Police Department)

“We heard the emergency call kick in for people into the canal, vehicle into the canal,” said Sgt. Malecki. Malecki was closest to the scene but wasn’t alone; his wife Allison was in the patrol car with him. In an instant, both Maleckis’ became first responders.

“Jumped out of the car, and she jumped out of the car,” said Sgt. Malecki. “He’s got kids and everything in there, so we’re going to grab some rope and see if we can get them out,” you can hear Sgt. Malecki saying in the body camera footage. Jason turned to his wife at that moment.

“I’m going to need your help here because I don’t know what I’m going to get into and how I’m going to get these people out,” he recalled. Two adults and a 3-year-old girl were inside the car. Allison Malecki had never seen anything like this before.

“It was a full-size Dodge Durango on its side with the water rushing around it. The airbags were deployed, the headlights were on,” she said. “It was really shocking to see.”

Once backup patrol came, everyone’s main priority was rescuing the 3-year-old girl, and Allison was there to catch her.

“Come here, honey, I’ve got you. I’ve got you. You’re okay; you’re okay, come here. I’ve got you,” you can hear Sgt. Malecki saying all of this as the girl is crying before seeing her handed off to Allison in the video. All three people were rescued, and thankfully, none of them were hurt. It turns out the husband-and-wife team at home make a pretty great patrol team together too.

“We did it without even saying anything. We all just knew what we had to do,” said Sgt. Malecki.

The Maleckis’ said they don’t know what caused the family’s car to roll into the canal but did say it was extremely dark and narrow in that area, and they believe the family just couldn’t see the turn. If you’re wondering what job Allison has in real life, it couldn’t be more different than being a cop - she’s a librarian!!