The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Trooper Brian Beuning of the Minnesota State Patrol as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for September 2014.
Located in the nation's capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund's Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Trooper Beuning, along with the other Officer of the Month Award winners for 2014, will be honored at a special awards event in Washington, DC, in May 2015, during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund's annual calendar.
On the evening of June 16, 2014, Trooper Beuning responded to a 911 call from a woman who was trapped in a car that was stranded in floodwaters near Beaver Creek, Minn. The area had experienced heavy rains, causing wide-spread flooding throughout the northern and southern parts of the state.
The woman was driving through a flooded area of I-90 when she lost control of her car and drifted toward a water-filled ditch. The water rose quickly around her vehicle and began to seep into its interior. The woman called 911, realizing how much danger she was in.
Once he arrived at the scene, Trooper Beuning immediately waded out into the knee-deep water to the woman's car, ignoring the risk that he could be swept away by the rising floodwaters at any moment. Once he reached the car, Trooper Beuning calmly instructed the woman to pull the car's emergency brake and crawl into the back seat so she could escape through the rear window. Once the woman complied, Trooper Beuning quickly pulled the woman out of the car.
Just seconds after the woman escaped, the car was swept away by the flood waters and sank down into the ditch before drifting away into the flooded field beyond.
The strength of the floodwaters made it impossible for the two to escape without assistance, so Trooper Beuning held on to the woman and braced himself against the flood's currents until help could arrive. As time dragged on, the woman began to lose hope, fearing that she would perish and that her young daughter would have to grow up without a mother. Trooper Beuning, a father himself, continuously assured the woman that they would be rescued, saying repeatedly, "We're going to do this for our kids."
Because the floodwaters were too swift and strong, a boat launched by the Department of Natural Resources was unable to reach Trooper Beuning and the woman. Two firefighters in water rescue suits were sent in to rescue the stranded pair. The firefighters placed life jackets on both Trooper Beuning and the woman, securing them with a rope attached to a semi-truck. Forty-five minutes after becoming trapped in the floodwaters, Trooper Beuning and the woman were back safely on dry land.
This is not the first instance that Trooper Beuning, who has been with the Minnesota State Patrol for five years, has been considered a hero. In 2010, he saved the life of a man who was sinking in a grain bin full of corn. Trooper Beuning received the Lifesaving Award from the Minnesota State Patrol in 2011 for his quick reactions regarding the incident.
For more information about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's Officer of the Month Award, visit www.LawMemorial.org/OTM.
About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 20,267 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.