The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum has announced the 2019 Officers of the Month. These officers were nominated by their communities and law enforcement departments for actions that went above and beyond the scope of their regular law enforcement duties. They include acts of heroism and bravery, human kindness and self-sacrifice.
"We are extremely proud and honored to be able to call attention to this phenomenal group of officers," said National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund CEO Marcia Ferranto. "Law enforcement is a special calling, one that requires self-sacrifice and a commitment to keep our communities and citizens safe, regardless of the dangers they face. The fact that officers are willing to do that is remarkable in itself, but even among those brave men and women, there are those who stand out, and for that we are truly honored to be able to recognize them."
Officer Joseph Grasso – North Brunswick (NJ) Police Department. Officer Grasso responded to an apartment complex fire. When he arrived, the building was fully engulfed in flames with all exits blocked by fire. Two grandparents were trapped on the second-floor balcony with their grandchildren. Standing on a picnic table, Officer Grasso hoisted himself to the second floor, took the children and handed them down safely to people on the ground. He then helped the grandparents to safety.
Officers John Daily, Alonzo Reid, Connor Davidson and Russell Bounds - Houston (TX) Police Department. Officers John Daily and Alonzo Reid were on patrol when their patrol car was struck by another vehicle. As a result of the crash, Officer Daily became trapped inside the patrol car as it burst into flames. Officer Reid and a citizen pulled Officer Daily from the burning car. Officer Daily was engulfed in fire but Officer Reid helped him to roll over and over on the ground to extinguish the flames. Officer Daily suffered burns to over 90% of his body, but he would not have survived without the heroic efforts of his partner. A short time later, Officers Connor Davidson and Russell Bounds arrived on the scene. They placed the badly burned Officer Daily in their patrol car rather than waiting for Fire/EMS to arrive and in a tactic known as “scoop and run,” transported Officer Daily to the nearest hospital. Officer Reid, badly burned himself, remained on the scene to assist with the crash investigation.
Officer Matthew Alves and Patrol Officer Kenneth Henneberry - Cumberland (RI) Police Department. Officer Alves and Patrol Officer Kenneth Henneberry were the first to arrive on the scene of a three-alarm house fire on Valentine’s Day. They noticed a woman and her 10-month old child trapped on the second floor. Officer Alves climbed the lattice outside the home to the second floor, grabbed the child and passed the baby off to Officer Henneberry. Officer Aves then went back and up and helped bring the woman to safety.
Officer Erin Bloch – Green Bay (WI) Police Department. First responders rarely talk about the stresses of their jobs, but Officer Erin Bloch has made it her mission to change that. The Behavioral Health Officer helps officers deal with mental health crisis events, connecting officers with resources and treatment to stay mentally balanced. She also works with other officers in responding to mental health calls and her effectiveness can already be measured. Last year the Green Bay Police Department logged 284 emergency detentions due to a mental health crisis. That’s down from 341 calls the previous year.
Officer Michelle Pratt – Salem (OR) Police Department. Officer Michelle Pratt had just requested backup during a traffic stop when the suspect suddenly got out of his vehicle and shot her four times. The 7-year veteran of the Salem police force was shot in the leg, the arm and the shoulder. A fourth bullet hit her bullet-resistant vest. Pratt applied a tourniquet to her leg while waiting for help to arrive. She was taken to the hospital where she was treated and later released. The suspect was arrested and charged with attempted aggravated murder along with with several other charges.
Officer Chad Yates – Chattanooga (TN) Police Department. Officer Yates responded to a call about a man in a convenience store parking lot. When he arrived, he noticed a barefoot man using two pieces of cardboard to keep his feet from burning on the hot pavement. He asked the man’s shoe size, went to a nearby store and bought the man a pair of shoes. A person pumping gas nearby saw what happened and posted it on social media.
Detective Matt Ryan and Officer Marcus Petty – Grove City (OH) Police Department. While working at a July 4th fireworks celebration, they responded to a report of an unconscious 3 year old girl at the bottom of a pool. A family member was performing CPR when they arrived, but Officer Ryan took over, continuing to perform CPR until the child slowly regained consciousness. He carried her to the medics who rushed her to the hospital. The officers’ immediate response and actions saved the child’s life.
Sergeant Jeff Turney - Glendale (AZ) Police Department. Sgt. Turney responded to a “check welfare” call on a 94-year old resident who was preparing to make a trip from Arizona to Florida. The call came from the man’s son who wanted police to talk his elderly father out of making the trip. When Sgt. Turney realized how important the trip was to the 94-year old, he volunteered to use his own time off to drive the man on his journey.
Master Police Officer Joe Allen – Prince William County (VA) Police Department. Even on vacation, officers are sometimes pressed into service. Master Police Officer Joe Allen and his wife Lauren were vacationing at a St. Augustine, FL beach when they heard screams. 14-year old Ethan Martin and his father Andrew were both in the water and struggling to survive against the surf. Officer Allen grabbed a nearby boogie board and went in to save them. He grabbed both the father and son. All three held on to the boogie board until local first responders arrived and pulled them all safely to shore.
Officer Brian Rehg – Knox County (TN) Sheriff’s Office. Quick thinking by traffic unit Officer Brian Rehg saved a man from jumping off a bridge. Officer Rehg’s body camera captured the scene as the man darted to towards the bridge and hurled himself over the edge. Officer Rehg grabbed the man’s leg just in the knick of time, saving the man’s life.
Trooper Ruben Correa – Utah State Highway Patrol. Trooper Correa found a car stopped on the railroad tracks as a train was approaching. The driver was unconscious after suffering a medical issue. He lifted the driver out and the two went tumbling down a slope just a second before the train crashed into the stopped car, missing both Trooper Correa and the driver.
Officers Dalton Foley and Olivia Martin – Farmville (VA) Police Department. The officers responded to an early morning report of a single car crash. When they arrived, they found the rear of the car on fire and an unconscious woman in the front seat. Officer Foley used a knife to cut the woman’s seatbelt and dragged her out of the vehicle just before the car became fully engulfed in flames. Their dramatic rescue was caught on body camera.