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 Gary Schoon and Keysha Bryant of the Smyrna, Tennessee, Police Department responded to a call about a capsized and sinking boat on a local lake. The officers observed a man clinging to the bow of the boat approximately 50 yards from the shore. As the man struggled to remain afloat, he grasped a life jacket, was unable to put it on, and shouted to the officers that he could not swim. Officer Schoon retrieved a life jacket from his patrol car and dove into the frigid water alongside Officer Bryant to provide assistance. Once the officers made it to the boat, they instructed the man to hold his life jacket below him as they stabilized him in the water. The officers then swam back to shore with the stranded boater between them. A rope was thrown out to them by other officers to assist in pulling the man from the cold water. Paramedics then treated him on the scene.
Officer First Class Wells
Officer First Class (OFC) Gerald Wells of the FBI Police in Clarksburg, West Virginia, was off duty at the residence of a friend when he noticed two young children operating an all terrain vehicle (ATV) on a nearby road. Shortly after the ATV disappeared from view, OFC Wells heard what he believed was an accident. He ran to the area and discovered the vehicle overturned in a stream with a 6-year-old girl trapped underneath. Disregarding his own safety, OFC Wells worked quickly to free the submerged victim and moved her to a safe location. He began checking for injuries and found a severe laceration to the inner thigh near the femoral artery. OFC Wells applied cold water to clean the wound and stop the bleeding and placed a pressure dressing over the laceration. The child then was transported to a local hospital as her parents were contacted. She received approximately 60 stitches to close the wound and will have to undergo skin grafts to repair the damaged area.
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 e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA 22135.