Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each challenge freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.
Captain Jeff Burchfield of the Blount County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office responded to an emergency call regarding two fishermen in distress. The fishermen’s boat veered too close to a dam on a local river and was taking on water due to the choppy conditions. Captain Burchfield crawled across a narrow pipe to get to a concrete platform next to the dam. From there, he threw a rope to the two fishermen and pulled them away from the dam’s hydraulics one at a time to calmer waters, where they were picked up by a rescue boat. During the rescue, the fishermen’s boat overturned—they were minutes away from drowning.
Officer Matt McCaslin of the Powell, Wyoming, Police Department responded to a fire at a local motel. Assisted by the motel’s night clerk, he took prompt and alert action in evacuating guests, helping one guest down from a second-story window and pounding on ground-floor windows to alert guests to evacuate. He entered the motel after hearing voices from inside, calling out to them but receiving no response. Crawling through thick smoke with only two to three feet of visibility, he found an unconscious man in the hallway and attempted to help him to safety. Unable to move the man on his own, Officer McCaslin left the building and summoned Sergeant Mike Chretien, who helped recover the victim. After searching for victims in the motel one last time, Officer McCaslin took command of the scene, organizing response efforts by initiating call out of extra personnel, directing people to move vehicles away from the burning building, and advising evacuated guests to remain until accounted for.
Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based on either the rescue of one or more citizens or arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions should include a short write-up (maximum of 250 words), a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the nomination. Submissions can be mailed to the Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.