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Maricopa officer went "way beyond his call of duty" to save overdose victim

Posted at 7:53 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 08:19:55-04

A Maricopa police officer went "way beyond his call of duty" to save a young man's life, that man's mother told ABC15.

In June officers were called to a home after housekeepers reported finding a 26-year-old man unresponsive after a heroin overdose. Officer Michael Dennison is seen on body camera video immediately rushing into the home and performing CPR nonstop for several minutes until paramedics arrived. 

"God put [Officer Dennison] there that day -- that specific officer," Brenda Wharton, the man's mother, told ABC15. 

Dennison "loved our son enough and loved life enough to come and give his help because nobody else was there to do it," she said. 

Wharton said her son is nearing the end of a 90-day treatment program and happier and healthier than she's ever seen. 

"I've never seen him do the things that he's doing today," she said. "Praising God for his life, being spiritual in his decision making, making decisions based on his gut, not just impulse." 

As for Dennison? He's served 13-years in Arizona law enforcement and is 22-years retired as a military officer. In every case, he said the primary mission of his job has always been preserving human life. 

"That's really what it's all about," he said. 

"I'm very glad that he's still alive. I feel happy for him -- very proud that he's alive and has another chance."