Hero NYPD officer saves 9-year-old girl from choking in Harlem school

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A 21-year-old NYPD school safety officer is being hailed as a hero after she stopped a 9-year-old girl from choking to death at her Harlem school.

Tamara Jenkins had been a school safety officer just five months on Wednesday when she was walking through the cafeteria at PS241 and saw a girl, Layla, bent over the table.

Apparently, a piece of orange was lodged in her throat.

"As I approached the situation, I realized the little girl was choking," Jenkins said. "So I was running toward her screaming, 'Pick her up!'"

Jenkins reacted quickly. She grabbed the girl, took off her coat, and thrusted until the orange came out and Layla was breathing again.

"At the time, my heart was beating fast. I was nervous. My first reaction was to call for backup because I didn't know how the turnout would be," Jenkins said. "Once she started talking, I was relieved."

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