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 from the Wakefield, Massachusetts, Police Department responded to a call for a man threatening to commit suicide. Upon arrival at the residence, officers witnessed the distraught young man in an argument with his father, who was bleeding from the head. When the subject observed Patrol Officer Amy Toothaker, he picked up a butcher knife, held it over his head, and threatened to kill her. Toothaker immediately drew her service weapon, distanced herself from the man, and prepared to defend herself. She engaged the subject in discussion, and, after a tense standoff, convinced him to put down the knife. Then, she and the other officers managed to settle the subject and arrange for his transport to a mental health facility.
In the early morning hours, three Vandalia, Ohio, Division of Police officers went above and beyond the call of duty to assist residents of an apartment complex that was engulfed in flames. Officer Rich Sommer arrived on the scene first and heard people screaming for help while trapped inside the building. One woman stood on her balcony and held a small child as flames roared behind them and smoke rolled over their heads. Sommer acquired a blanket from a neighbor and told the mother to drop the toddler into it; he and Officer Doug Nagel held the blanket open as the mother released the child from two floors above. Nagel and Officer Damien Clemmons assisted the woman to the ground to reunite mother and child, both uninjured. Then, Officer Sommer directed his colleagues to different apartments to evacuate residents from the burning apartments.
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.