Salute the Badge: Honoring Sarah Salinas

WAMEGO, Kan. (WIBW)-- Sarah Salinas' smile could light up a room.

"She always had a smile on her face," Deputy Chief Paul Schliffke said.

Her bright demeanor was hard to miss during her 10 years in the Wamego Police Department. Colleagues say her practical jokes and small gifts were one of the many things her team loved.

"She was very funny. She was a funny person. She smiled a lot and was always joyful," Chief Mike Baker said.

Her team also says she had the "it" factor when it came to helping others.

"Dispatchers are unique people," Schliffke said, "They need to multitask and they are the lifeline between not only law enforcement officers but also fire and EMS. She had the quality."

Salinas passed away on February 19 in a two-car collision on Highway 24.

As the news of her passing spread within the law enforcement community, support from other agencies poured in. Cards were sent to the department to honor Salinas.

Although, Salinas expressed ambition to becoming a police officer, she said the dispatch chair was where she was destined to be. Her job was tough, and she did it well. She didn't however, want to receive accolades for saving lives.

"I don't think she would think she was a hero," Chief Baker said. "She was modest about that. She said she was a team player."

Her team says that although they will no longer hear her infectious laugh, she will always be there in spirit.

"We lost a family member," Dispatcher supervisor Greg Humber said. "We are never going to forget her."