Hero cop dad kept promise to return home

Vermonters rally Saturday to honor police “heroes among us” – like Frank McCarty, the St. Albans detective who saved a life and kept his promise to his daughter

Two days from today, Saturday, July 25, a large gathering of supporters of Vermont police will meet on the State House lawn in Montpelier for a positive, non-partisan Rally to Support Law Enforcement

The event is organized by Jim Sexton of Essex Junction, the son of a career Chittenden County police officer. Although outspoken on other government-related issues, Sexton said during a phone conversation this week that this rally won’t be “political,” it’s simply an opportunity for Vermonters to show up and say “thank you” to those who protect and serve. Details are still in process but the event will feature some real-life accounts of how Vermont police have done their jobs well and made life better. 

In the run-up to the event, Vermont Daily republishes this news report from November, 2015. It was written by former North Hero school principal Joe Resteghini and student Hudson Kinney. Update: Sgt. Frank McCarty is still a detective with the St. Albans police department, according to the city website

Readers are invited to send to news@vermontdailychronicle.com links to other news stories showing why Vermont police deserve our support. – Editor

A Hero Among Us

By Hudson Kinney and Joe Resteghini

Reprinted from the Islander (weekly newspaper for Grand Isle County) Facebook page, November 29, 2015

In the life of a police officer any day at work can provide for catastrophic dangers. When St. Albans Police Sergeant Frank McCarty leaves for work each night he never says goodbye, instead it is always, later. This message to his eight year old daughter Grace means clearly, ‘I am coming home no matter what.’

On an evening last year one of Sergeant McCarty’s greatest fears presented itself to him in the line of duty and later allowed him to stay focused and calm.

At 1:11 am Sergeant McCarty arrived at a call for a house fire. In St. Albans because there is not a standing fire department police officers are often first on the scene. As he, Officer Keith Cote and Corporal Talley arrived they could hear a man screaming from inside the structure.

The two officers ran inside to discover a man unable to rescue himself, due to disability, from the building. In the instant that they were assessing the situation an oxygen tank inside the apartment exploded. The blast sent the two officers off the porch. Both men were shaken, scraped by shrapnel and debris but back into the apartment they went.

In the few minutes that followed they were able to get the man to safety and to also assist other residents from the burning building. They saved people that night and to them it was just part of their job.

Sergeant McCarty refers to his colleagues as his boys and they see him as a father figure type. He leads by example. In this case, as he said, “you don’t think you just react.” It is that type of run towards danger attitude that makes our country the greatest in the world.

Sergeant McCarty was honored, along with Corporal Talley and Officer Cote for their bravery on this particular night. Frank McCarty, a North Hero resident, is now Frank McCarty Medal of Valor recipient. He and his wife Kate and daughter Grace were presented the honor at a regional gathering of law enforcement on September 22. 

St. Albans Police Dept. Detective Frank McCarty and daughter Grace, at ceremony where he was presented with the Medal of Valor for entering a burning building and saving a man’s life. Photo Credit: the Islander