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.
One early morning, Deputy Sheriffs Jeremy Battle, Chad Phillips, and Josh Cochran of the Gordon County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office responded to an automobile crash. Upon arrival, the officers witnessed a vehicle fully engulfed in flames on the side of the road. One occupant remained inside the vehicle, and a passerby struggled to open the driver’s door. Immediately, Deputy Battle doused the flames with a fire extinguisher, and Deputies Phillips and Cochran attempted to force the vehicle open to remove the driver.
After he exhausted his own fire extinguisher, Deputy Battle ran to a parked tractor trailer in search of another. As Deputy Battle continued to fight the fire and Deputies Phillips and Cochran struggled to reach the trapped driver, the vehicle burst into flames at least three more times. Despite the grave danger that this inflicted on the officers, they persisted until they could control the flames, force open the passenger door, and extricate the driver. The victim received emergency medical attention and flew by helicopter to a nearby hospital.
One weekend, during an off-duty rafting trip, Corporal Neal Mora of the Texas City, Texas, Police Department rescued a fellow officer’s son from drowning. As Corporal Mora prepared his raft along the bank of the river, he noticed the 7-year-old child in serious distress. The boy was struggling to swim to safety in the rough river and was in imminent danger of drowning. Corporal Mora swam to the child, who then pulled the officer underwater. Submerged and unable to breathe, Corporal Mora managed to hold the boy above the water until other people arrived. Corporal Mora’s actions saved a child’s life and prevented a tragic loss for a fellow officer and the department as a whole.
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 should be sent to the Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135.