|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - June 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Friends rally around Livingston police officer battling cancer
Polk County Enterprise
BY VALERIE REDDELL
When things go bump in the night, Sgt. Scott Paske has been one of the first people on the scene to help Livingston residents. Now the Polk County community is reaching out to help the Livingston Police Officer battle kidney cancer. Supporters are planning a benefit luncheon from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 26 at the Livingston VFW Hall on U.S. 59 north. Proceeds from the event will help offset expenses related to Paske’s illness and time off work. Paske said doctors found the malignancy during tests related to chronic back pain from a line-of-duty car crash in 1997. Paske began his law enforcement career with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office as reserve officer in late 1996. He became a full-time patrol officer in March 1997. Paske moved to the Livingston Police Department on Sept. 11, 2001. “I’ve always loved police work ever since I was a kid,” Paske said. On Dec. 14, 1997, Paske was responding to a call in Indian Springs when a pickup truck pulled out in front of him from a private drive one mile east of Livingston, according to a report by DPS Trooper Darwon Evans. Paske swerved to avoid the truck, but the patrol car hit the truck in the westbound lanes. Livingston firefighters had to use JAWS equipment to free Paske, the driver of the other vehicle and a child passenger from the wreckage. All three were flown to Hermann Hospital in Houston. Paske said he suffered a broken hip and back injuries that kept him in the hospital for three weeks. When he recuperated, Paske was back on the street and soon lured his younger brother Jason into a law enforcement career. “I came up here and rode with him and I knew that was what I wanted to do,” Jason Paske said. Jason is a patrol sergeant for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Thousands of arrests and the heartbreak of losing a fellow officer, Scott says he would never consider doing anything else. “I was the sergeant on duty when Caran (Coward) got killed,” Scott said. “I was 15 seconds away.” Scott also will have to say goodbye Friday to close friend and business partner, Dr. Jay Workman. Workman was very involved in helping Jason and Brandy Scott Paske, a Polk County law enforcement officer since 1997, faces surgery for kidney cancer at the end of June. A benefit is planned at the Livingston VFW for June 26. Paske organize the benefit luncheon. “I want you to promise me this will get front and center attention,” Workman told an Enterprise staff member two weeks ago. “Scott’s always there for anyone who needs him.” Paske underwent surgery three weeks ago to repair a ruptured disc — the injury causing the pain that prompted the tests that ultimately revealed the cancer. “I’m doing pretty good,” Scott said Tuesday. The next surgery will be to either remove his kidney or shave around it and make sure all the malignant cells are removed. The overwhelming support Paske has received from the community has been a vote of confidence, he said. “I always try to treat people fair, I don’t care who they are,” Scott said. He’s even had Facebook messages from two people he’s arrested in the past who wished him a speedy recovery. “I guess if I’ve treated them right, I’m doing all right,” Scott said. Longtime coworkers agree with Paske. “He’s a great partner and friend,” said Rob Atkins, whose worked with Paske for about 12 years at both agencies. Volunteers will be serving barbecue and fish dinners and several local businesses have donated auction items for the event. Jason Paske said there will also be many silent auction items and drawings. Meal and raffle tickets are available by calling 936-433- 9350 or 936-328-2955.