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.
Officers Dave Arpin and Ryan Eberhart of the Saint Peter, Minnesota, Police Department, responded to a distress call at a local river and discovered several people in the water in danger of drowning. A teenager and younger sibling had become caught in the strong current before a man helped them to shore. Then, he became victimized by the current as was his father, who saw him in trouble and also entered the river, along with two younger men who tried to assist them. All four men now were struggling to stay above the surface. Officer Arpin wore a life jacket and a rope around his waist and entered the water while Officer Eberhart held the end of the lifeline. With the help of an off-duty emergency medical technician, the officers helped the men to shore.
One evening, Officer Timothy Tonkin of the Suffolk, New York, Police Department, was dispatched to a vehicle in the water at a boat ramp. Upon arrival, he found an occupied vehicle mostly submerged about 60 feet from shore. Officer Tonkin secured his firearm, entered the water, and swam to the site. After repeatedly striking the rear window with his baton, the glass broke, and the vehicle began to fill with water and sink. Officer Tonkin swam underwater, reached the occupant, and brought him to the surface. An off-duty emergency medical technician helped them into a dinghy. Officer Tonkin received treatment at a local hospital for minor injuries, and the victim survived.
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.