Fred Zastrow, a retired barber, has been a volunteer with the Lakewood Police Department since December 1986, wearing several different hats during that 20-year career. Fred manned the front police desk during evening hours for many years, has assisted the Victim Advocate team by making follow-up calls to burglary victims, is a member of the Volunteer Surveillance Team and offers his assistance throughout the department whenever needed. He has also volunteered with the Hospice of St. John’s where he visited with patients and handed out mail in addition to answering the front desk phones.
Fred is a Neighborhood Watch block captain for his neighborhood where his ability to get along well with people shines. Fred is truly loved by his many friends within the Police Department, and well respected throughout the entire Lakewood community.
Fred underwent a laryngectomy in August 2005 after being diagnosed with stage 4 laryngeal cancer. Both vocal cords were removed which left him unable to talk without the aid of an electronic device that uses throat vibrations to produce words. In April 2007, Fred underwent a trachea-esophageal procedure, which now enables him to talk through a one-way valve in his throat. He is now perfecting his musical skills on the harmonica as well as enjoying his ability to speak again.
Fred’s strong will and determination not to be defeated have led him to helping others who have experienced the same surgery. Fred also does presentations to elementary school students on the dangers of smoking, hoping to keep them from experiencing what he has experienced.