The IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors' Club has announced that Deputy James A. DeFilipps from the Orleans County Sheriff's Office in Orleans, NY, was chosen as the 2016 Honoree of the Year. A luncheon to celebrate Deputy DeFilipps as the recipient of this prestigious award was held on October 15, 2016, during the 123rd IACP Annual Conference and Exposition in San Diego, CA.
Deputy DeFilipps was one of the first on the scene in response to a domestic disturbance call when he noticed the suspect's vehicle speeding by on the road. Deputy DeFilipps was in pursuit when the suspect exited his vehicle and hid from the officers on scene. The suspect then began to shoot at the officers from a nearby wooded area, striking Deputy DeFilipps twice in the torso. Deputy DeFilipps fired back, eliminating the threat, and then maintained his position and used the flashlight on his rifle to illuminate the suspect's location for the other officers. His quick response saved the lives of the other officers at the scene and, thanks to the use of his body armor, Deputy DeFilipps sustained only superficial injuries.
"The brave actions of Deputy James A. DeFilipps helped save the lives of his fellow officers," said IACP President, Chief Terrence M. Cunningham of the Wellesley (MA) Police Department. "We are pleased to honor Deputy DeFilipps for being an example to others for wearing his vest."
Since 1987, IACP has partnered with DuPont to honor those police officers who have survived life-threatening incidents because they were wearing their personal body armor. To-date, more than 3,100 officers who have been saved from death or serious injury by wearing body armor have been honored, with one officer chosen annually as the Honoree of the Year. The award helps to reinforce the use of body armor every day and every shift for officer safety. It also serves as a reminder of the heroic efforts police exhibit while serving their communities.
"Every day, law enforcement officers confront multiple, unpredictable situations that can quickly become life-threatening or disabling," said Steve LaGanke, Global Marketing Manager, DuPont Protection Solutions. "At DuPont, we are committed to providing advanced materials that help officers, like Deputy DeFilipps, come home safely day after day. We hope that his inspiring story of heroism and survival will help reinforce the fact that wearing personal body armor can mean the difference between life and death."
For more information about the IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors' Club, visit www.theiacp.org/survivorsclub.
The IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors' Club is part of the IACP Center of Officer Safety and Wellness, which focuses on the well-being of police officers, including physical health, nutrition and exercise, and mental health. For more information, visit www.theiacp.org/centerforofficersafetyandwellness.