|Never a cop around when you need one|
|Written by Jose Torres|
Knowland Shell Miller has a great story to tell about how his parents came up with his name. According to a recent article in the Oakland Tribune, the baby was born at a Shell gas station in the Knowland Park neighborhood, just across the street from the Oakland Zoo. The baby was delivered in the back of his parent's SUV with the help of three Oakland police officers who were at the gas station at exactly the right time.
In an emotional reunion recently that had the baby's father choked up and the cops as well, the family and officers appeared together at a news conference.
"You guys single-handedly saved my son's life," the baby's father, Barry Miller, 26, of Oakland told Officers Charles Stone, Sean Bowling and Jeffrey Cid, who helped deliver the baby. "It's a blessing. It's really a blessing."
The baby's mother, Kimberly Thomas, 27, who has four other children, knew she was in trouble when she was immobilized by excruciating pain at home. Baby was on his way, hospital or no hospital.
She called Miller, her boyfriend, who was attending barber college, and told him she was in trouble. Miller walked home and the couple loaded their four -year-old son Kristian in the SUV and headed to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland.
"She kept saying, 'I'm not going to make it, I'm not going to make it,'" Miller said. "She said, 'If we get on the freeway, I'm not going to make it to the hospital.'"
The frantic couple spotted the police cars at the Shell station and ran inside. The three officers were warming up dinner and talking to the clerk.
"I said she's going to have a baby right now," Miller said.
Cid, a father himself and a former nursing assistant at UC San Francisco Medical Center took the lead. But even with his experience he’d never delivered a baby before.
They grabbed paper towels from the gas station clerk and instructed Miller to be ready with the shirt off his back for the baby.
"Two or three minutes later, my little man came out," Miller said.
"It was a wonderful experience for us," Officer Cid said. "We are blessed to be part of your family in this special way."
They also credited Kimberly Thomas for keeping calm and listening to instructions — not an easy feat when you’re in mind-bending pain.
"Mom was fighting and battling the whole time," said Stone, also a father. "She was cooperative and calm and she answered all of our questions about what was going on."
Thomas said she knows she’s lucky that the officers where there in her time of need.
“They are good people. They calmed me down more than him," she said pointing to the boy's father.
The baby, wrapped in his dad's sweater, was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He is healthy and happy and keeping his parents up all night like most babies do.
Plus, baby Knowland got a special invite from police Chief Howard Jordan.
"He is now an honorary police officer and we look forward to seeing him in the Class of 2037," Jordan said.