N.J. Police Officer Helps Deliver Baby in Parked Car During Snowstorm

Jan. 22, 2024
Sparta Police Officer Christopher Botta was eating dinner at headquarters when a 9-1-1 call came in concerning a woman giving birth in a parked vehicle in Sussex County.

By Rob Jennings

Source nj.com

Baby Millie arrived with a stellar sense of winter timing.

She was born Monday night in her parents’ parked car at the start of a wicked New Jersey snowstorm — with a key assist from Sparta Police Officer Christopher Botta and several others on the shoulder of Route 15.

Millie was doing well at home with her parents Friday, the Sparta Police Department said in a Facebook post recounting the incident.

She also received perhaps her first invitation— to a reunion.

“We wanted to congratulate Millie’s parents, Tyler, and Stephanie on the birth of their baby girl and hope that they will come visit us at the station in the future,” Sparta Police Chief Jeffery McCarrick said.

Botta’s night shift on Monday started uneventfully. He was eating dinner at police headquarters at 8:50 p.m. when the 9-1-1 call came in from the vehicle parked on Route 15 South in Sparta in Sussex County, near the border with Jefferson in Morris County.

“Delivering a baby is a call I have thought about in the past but never thought I would actually get to do it because it happens so rarely outside of the hospital. We’ve had similar calls in the past but they always end up being false alarms. When I arrived on scene I realized very quickly this was actually going to happen this time,” Botta said.

The police department described what happened next.

“Officer Botta observed the baby’s head crowning and proceeded to ensure the umbilical cord was not wrapped around the baby’s neck. After confirming everything appeared normal, seconds later, Stephanie delivered the baby girl into Officer Botta’s hands,” police said.

Millie began crying and appeared in good health. Additional patrols arrived on the scene and assisted with monitoring Millie and her mother until the Sparta First Aid Squad arrived, police said.

“Due to the cold and snowy weather conditions, Millie and Stephanie were wrapped in blankets to ensure everyone stayed warm. Soon after, Stephanie and Millie were ultimately transported to the Morristown Medical Center,” police said.

McCarrick praised Botta and three other Sparta officers who responded — Sgt. Robert Fraser, Officer Erick Finley and Officer Alyse Brown — for their “quick actions, compassion, professionalism, and protection from bad weather conditions and highway traffic during this unforgettable experience.”

“As the chief I am very proud of my officers for taking this call to action with using their training and teamwork to help bring a beautiful little girl, Millie, into this world,” he said.

Botta, 25, grew up in Sparta and became a Sparta police officer in 2021. He recalled a presentation on childbirth while attending the police academy but said that, “due to it happening so rarely on the side of the road, it was not something we spent a lot of time on.”

This was his first time helping with a delivery.

“Usually as a police officer you deal with a lot of negative experiences or people at their worst. To be on the complete opposite side of the spectrum by delivering a baby was a feeling I will never forget. It was definitely a call I will remember for the rest of my career and nothing will probably top it. I look forward to keeping in contact with the family and watching baby Millie grow up,” Botta said.

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