FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Springfield Police Department hosted an awards ceremony at 3 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the Springfield Regional Police and Fire Training Center. Officers were commended for their service, and in some cases, their bravery and extraordinary actions.
SPD’s Leadership Council Award recipients:
Life Saving Award:
This award is presented to department personnel who personally save a life, normally involving one of the learned life supporting processes outside of routine measures.
Cpl. Brian Crum , Officer Jennifer Sandage and Officer Betsy Shipley, Life Saving Award
On Jan. 17, 2016, Cpl. Crum responded to a call of a subject who may have committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. When Cpl. Crum arrived on scene, he found a male in a small garage who was slumped into the open window of the driver’s door of a parked car. He dragged the male out of the garage onto the driveway. He noticed the male did not have a pulse and began CPR while notifying dispatch to have EMS expedite. Officer Sandage arrived on scene and began rescue breaths with an Ambu Bag, which Cpl. Crum had requested. Officer Shipley then arrived on scene and took over compressions for Cpl. Crum until EMS arrived. Dr. Christopher Morrison, who was the attending physician, would later advise the department that the actions of the officers involved “likely saved” the victim’s life.
Officer Dorian Bernet, Life Saving Award
On May 18, 2016, Officer Dorian Bernet and Officer Anna King had just cleared a call for service in the area of the Wayo Restaurant, 2119 S. Glenstone. While on the parking lot of that restaurant, two visibly upset females, who were yelling frantically, approached both officers. The officers were advised that a female subject, later identified as Abigail Grindle, was choking and was becoming unconscious inside the restaurant. Officer Bernet and Officer King responded inside and located Ms. Grindle being held up by another female. Though the Heimlich maneuver had unsuccessfully been tried, Officer Bernet immediately attempted the Heimlich maneuver again and was successful in his attempt to dislodge the obstruction. Officer King later praised him and advised that when he made the decision to intervene, Ms. Grindle was limp and blue in color. Officer King indicated that Officer Bernet’s decisive actions undoubtedly saved Ms. Grindle’s life.
Command Commendation: This is awarded to department personnel who distinguish themselves by a single act or series of actions that impact the community in a positive manner, or significantly improve the ability of the SPD to fulfill its mission. Actions must be creditable, show intelligent and determined effort beyond reasonably expected job performance and must produce documentable results.
Cpl. Chris Barb, Command Commendation
On May 1, 2014, officers discovered Gary and Jan Tyrrell deceased in their Springfield home from an apparent double homicide. Cpl. Barb was assigned as the lead investigator in the case. During his investigation, Cpl. Barb developed information on a possible suspect. Cpl. Barb discovered that the suspect had sold several silver coins the day after the Tyrrells’ bodies were discovered, which matched the value of coins he discovered were missing from the Tyrrells’ residence. Cpl. Barb was able to obtain the suspect’s DNA from pieces of evidence recovered at the crime scene. He would later get a positive match of that DNA to the suspect he had identified. Ultimately, the suspect pleaded guilty to the murders of the Tyrrells. Cpl. Barb displayed extreme professionalism, ingenuity, diligence and teamwork during this difficult investigation, which exemplifies his dedicated service to the citizens of Springfield and to the Springfield Police Department.
Officer Jim Cooney, Command Commendation
On Feb. 27, 2016, Officer Dave Laws was seriously injured after being dragged by a vehicle in the area of Glenstone and Division. The vehicle left the scene westbound on Division. Officer Cooney arrived in the area of Calhoun and Rogers in an attempt to locate the suspect. Officer Cooney observed a male subject matching the suspect description walking in the area. Officer Cooney made contact with the subject and after a brief interview with him determined he was the suspect in question. Officer Cooney directed other officers to his location to try and locate the suspect vehicle in the area. The suspect’s vehicle was subsequently located a short time later, southeast of Officer Cooney’s location. Officer Cooney arrested the suspect on several outstanding warrants, which allowed detectives to get a confession during their interview with him. Officer Cooney’s initiative, quick actions and investigative skills during this incident exemplify his service to the citizens of Springfield and to the Springfield Police Department.
Purple Heart Award:
This is awarded to department personnel who are seriously injured in the line of duty. The Purple Heart will only be awarded once during an individual’s career. Any subsequent actions deemed worthy of a Purple Heart will be documented with an oak leaf cluster attached to the original award.
Officer Dave Laws, Purple Heart
On Feb. 27, 2016, Officer Laws observed a suspicious, occupied vehicle in the area of Glenstone and Division. He attempted to contact the driver of the vehicle who refused to acknowledge him. As Officer Laws opened the driver’s door to make contact, the driver placed the vehicle in reverse and began to back up. Officer Laws was able to get the driver to stop the vehicle, but as he attempted to detain him, the driver accelerated forward. Officer Laws was not able to keep his grip on the side of the truck bed, at which point his right leg became trapped in the driver’s rear wheel well. He was able to hang onto the bed of the truck while drawing his handgun and firing rounds at the driver in an attempt to stop his actions, all while being dragged a significant distance by the vehicle. Officer Laws was able to finally free his leg and fell away from the truck and into the street. He sustained significant injuries to his right leg and various additional injuries to his left leg, knees, hands, elbows and head. His display of extreme bravery, dedication to duty and will to survive serves as an excellent example to all in our profession.
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Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer
Release authorized by: Chief Paul Williams