Yelm Police Department recognizes officer with award, announces new hire


Yelm’s Police Department recently received a boost to its morale and to the number of officers the team has, as Yelm Police Officer Brian Bard received a Life Saving Award, and the department announced a new police officer, Randy Rehon, on April 9.

Yelm Police Chief Rob Carlson said he’s consistently talked about how proud he is of his officers, and that Bard’s act of courage in January is a great example of the “solid group of folks” featured in the department.

“On the morning of Jan. 20, 2024, while Officer Bard was on patrol, he was dispatched to a CPR in progress in the 900 block of Yelm Avenue East,” Carlson read. “When Officer Bard arrived, he found the victim near the sidewalk in the grassy area unresponsive.”

Carlson added that Bard determined that the victim jumped out of a moving vehicle, which led to a “severe head injury.” Carlson added that the officer discovered the victim had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.

“Officer Bard immediately began life-saving measures and performed CPR on the victim,” Carlson added. “The victim was able to regain consciousness and began to throw up, so Officer Bard immediately placed him in the recovery position.”

Following CPR from Bard, medical personnel arrived and eventually transported the victim to the hospital.

“It was the quick and immediate action of Officer Bard that ultimately saved the victim’s life,” Carlson said. “For these actions, it is with great honor that we recognize Officer Bard for his dedication, professionalism, with this life saving (award).”

After Carlson honored Bard with the Life Saving Award, he introduced the department’s new police hire. Rehon, an Oregon native, joins the Yelm Police Department as an entry-level officer. He recently graduated from the police academy.

“One quick story about Randy, we were first going through the hiring process. He was in and out, doing the background process and talking to Sgt. (Anthony) Sparkuhl and getting some paperwork taken care of. I was in the front office, Donna (McCann} and Beth (Larson) were up front and they had a candle going,” Carlson said. “This candle, every time I walked into this office, for some reason, hit me wrong.”

Carlson said that he asked if anyone else had a problem with the candle.

“I saw Randy walk in, and I thought what a great opportunity to see if this kid is going to be honest with me. I said, ‘Randy, come on in here. Go in the office, smell the candle and let me know what you honestly think of this candle smell,” Carlson said. “He walks in and kind of looks at me. I can tell by the look on his face that he doesn’t want to be that guy, and he says ‘I think it smells OK.’ I’m thinking, at least he’s politically correct in regards to candles. We go through the process — we really liked him – he’s a super good guy. It was kind of a no-brainer for us to hire him. Next time he came back, he was still living in Oregon at the time, he had brought a brand-new candle to put in the front office. It was a better model, and it smelled really good. I thought with this kid, we did good.”

Carlson said he’s very proud to have Rehon as part of the Yelm Police Department, adding he’s going to “fit in really well.”