DS Palmer was involved in two incidents involving Coronation Street residents.
When Bethany Platt's teenage father Neil was killed in a car accident in September 2003, Sarah attended the funeral and made hesitant contact with Neil's mother, Brenda. She had been hit with a double blow in that her husband had left her a couple of years before and Sarah agreed that the grieving woman could start seeing her granddaughter. After a period of time, it became clear that Brenda's losses had made her unstable and when Sarah discovered that she was taking Bethany to see Neil's grave and hysterically passing her off as her own daughter, she banned her from further contact.
However Sarah forgot to take Brenda off the list of known guardians at the nursery and when she and Todd Grimshaw went to collect her at the end of one day in January 2004, they discovered that she had already been taken. They rushed round to Brenda's house where they found a shrine of photographs to her son and granddaughter, the latter being pictures of her dressed in her father's clothing. Emily Bishop and Norris Cole joined in the search, Emily trying St. Saviour's Church as she knew that Brenda was a frequent attendant with the congregation there and discovered to her horror that she was in the bell tower with Bethany, determined to jump with the child and be reunited in heaven with her dead son. The police were alerted and DS Palmer came on the scene with a colleague and radioed in for an ambulance and a trained negotiator. In the meantime, strongly-religious Brenda had met her match in Emily up on the tower who was able to quote scripture back to her as to why her intended actions were so wrong. She managed to get through to Brenda in a way that a trained negotiator might not have been able to and Brenda returned to the base of the tower with Emily and the child. Palmer put Brenda in the ambulance to be taken away and mother and daughter were reunited.