(COLORADO SPRINGS) — On November 19, Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) responded to a domestic violence call which then turned into a pursuit to safely bring a child back to their mother.

“Originally it was domestic violence where both the female was the caller and she was following the male. She described that he was intoxicated,” CSPD Officer, Evan Marone, said. “He didn’t have access to the kid, but the kid was in his car and so she was concerned for kiddos safety.”

CSPD Officer Kyle Gehrke took on an active supervisor role in helping successfully relay information to other officers and navigate the next steps in finding the child.

“We find out that there’s a protection order in place where he’s not supposed to have the kiddo,” Gehrke said. “So therefore, you’ve got a parental kidnapping where he’s not supposed to have [the] kid, don’t know what his mental state is at that point.”

Officer Gehrke described how the dynamic changes when a child is involved and that he was motivated to make sure the child would safely be returned back to her mother.

“There’s an innocent life that’s here that’s always a lot heavier on us,” Gehrke said. “And so me, especially as the acting sergeant, put quite a bit of pressure on myself to push through it, get as much information as I could, get the assets I could out there, and push to make sure we had a good ending.”

Each officer played a significant role in this call, as CSPD Officer Evan Marone was helping comfort and calm down the nervous mother.

“I have a five-year-old son and a three-year-old son, so I could resonate with her in initially contacting her in that situation, and how would I feel,” said Marone.

Officers were pinging the iPhone account of the intoxicated adult to try and locate where he and the child were.

“At that point, we realize her and [the] male party have a shared iPhone account and she can actually track his iPhone,” Gehrke said. “So we’re able to get into that. We’re able to get updates through the iPhone, track him for a while.”

CSPD Officer Aaron Crotser described the moments of trying to locate them as a cat-and-mouse situation.

“So, we’re a little bit of a cat and mouse situation there where we’re trying to ‘oh, he’s in this area we’re updating’,” Crotser said. “So we had our officers there over the radio, you know, officers go to this area and they would try and find him.”

There was a delay in finding the location of the two which made it a challenge to locate the adult and child.

“We didn’t know exactly where they were and kind of like what was described, a 30 to 60-second delay in that ping,” Marone said. “The first go around, we weren’t able to find him. Could have been anywhere and, you know, dark at night. All of those factors that kind of come into play with it.”

Officer Crotser described the moment in which he learned the two had been spotted and the child could be rescued.

“It’s just kind of like your heart’s beating almost with the tones and… that officer said, ‘we got him, kid [is] safe’,” Crotser said. “We were pretty excited to hear that news and then walk over to Mom and say, ‘hey, we got your kiddo back and she is safe’.”

The night ended with officers able to share the good news with the mother that her child was safe and the two could be reunited.

“So we contact him, take him into custody, kid who’s healthy, no issues, no injuries,” Gehrke said. “Return her straight back to Mom. Mom is ecstatic.”

Earlier in the month of April, Officer Gehrke was awarded for his leadership work and safely being able to reunite the mother back to her child.

Calls like this which involve the safety of a child hit close to home for officers who have children of their own. Officer Gehrke shared his role as a father and how he remembers his girls back at home.

“It’s one of those things that kid calls are the ones you remember the most,” Gehrke said. “I’m a dad. I’ve got three girls, so, you know, it’s definitely one of those things that weighs on me.”