An Indianapolis police officer who nearly died in July when he was shot in the head while pursuing a robbery and slaying suspect was given the department’s highest honor Sunday before the Indianapolis Colts game against Jacksonville.
A crowd of about 60,000 fans gave Officer Jason Fishburn a hearty cheer and standing ovation as he slowly made his way to the center of the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, aided by his wife and a cane.
Fishburn was given the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart. The officer was emotional as he accepted the honor. A Medal of Honor is usually only given to an officer posthumously.
“He’s not able to articulate what he wants to say,” said Indianapolis police Sgt. Dennis Fishburn, Jason’s father. “You can see it in his eyes how happy he was to see the support of all those blue jerseys rooting him on.”
“I think he was humbled,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “He needs to understand that he deserves this.”
Fishburn was released from a rehabilitation hospital earlier this month.
The officer was shot on July 10 as he tried to apprehend Brian Reese, who is now charged in three slayings.
“(Reese is) a very vicious suspect — a man who had killed others in a very savage fashion. Jason didn’t back down one bit,” said Indianapolis Police Chief Michael Spears.
Fishburn’s chance of survival was deemed slim, and his recovery has been called miraculous. He is still working to regain strength in his right side and regain speech.
Surgery planned in two weeks will replace lost parts of his skull with prosthetics.
“He still has a long way to go, and that’s why I always say, ‘Don’t stop those prayers, Indianapolis,'” Dennis Fishburn said. “We need them more and more so that he can get back to the Jason Fishburn that we all know and love.”
Fishburn will continue to receive therapy at an outpatient facility that specializes in brain trauma.
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Two Kansas City, Kansas, police officers are dead after a tragic series of events early Saturday morning.
According to authorities, the two off-duty police officers were involved in a vehicle accident with each other around 1 a.m. on I-70 near I-435 in Wyandotte County.
Officer Mark A. Jaramillo was pronounced dead at the scene from his injuries.
KCK police say officers responded to the residence of the other officer involved, Officer Kyle Kovac, after being notified that he was distraught over the accident.
Police say Kovac was dead of an apparent suicide when they arrived at his apartment.
Both Jaramillo and Kovac had been officers with the KCK police for five years.
The traffic accident is being investigated by KCK police and the Kansas Highway Patrol.
The men and women who are called in for the most dangerous situations are often forced to face desperate people who feel caged in and may be unstable. They are members of the elite SWAT team, and they train extensively for the missions that could mean life or death.
It takes a lot of skill and Eyewitness News took a real-life look at the training Henderson’s SWAT team goes through to save lives.
When police find themselves in risky situations, every move matters. They’re practicing for the real thing, and that practice that can mean the difference between life and death, a good ending or a bad one.
Henderson Police Lieutenant Marc Cassell holds SWAT school on a range outside Boulder City, and just trying out for this highly-skilled tactical team is not always a walk in the park.
It is a job where precision matters, “Although these situations are dangerous, by bringing SWAT into them, we deescalate that danger.”
On the surface, the drills may look exciting, but SWAT school is rigorous and competitive. Not everyone is cut out for it, “We lose about 50-percent of our officers in this school because it’s so tough.”
Those that do sign on have to be ready for anything, at anytime, “If the pager goes off, or the phone rings, they’re so dedicated, they drop what they’re doing and they come and they’re on call 24-7.”
The SWAT team trains for a lot more than just hostage situations. Henderson deals with suicidal subjects, serve search warrants to dangerous scenes, protect dignitaries and they train in counterterrorism.
SWAT members and negotiators always aim for the innocent to go home safely and the criminals to go to jail. At the end of the day, that’s what they train for.
Henderson’s SWAT team is called out on average a hundred times a year. While the calls may not have the Hollywood drama like you see on CBS’s Flashpoint, they all have to be handled carefully.
Minnesota (WDAY TV) – The recent arrest of a Blackduck, Minnesota teenager who threatened school violence and Tuesday’s school shooting in Finland are reminders to law enforcement the need to be vigilant is always there. Wednesday in Fergus Falls, SWAT teams from across Minnesota got a chance to test their skills.
Jim Iverson and his Otter Tail County SWAT team are getting ready to rescue a hostage. Close to 100 law enforcement officers took part in this competition, a chance to compare sniper skills, and swat team tactics.
“We train and we train hard in hopes that we never have to use the teams but if we have to use them we are more prepared.”
The SWAT team from Fargo-Moorhead came knowing this is an opportunity to not only show off the skill level of the team, but to keep learning.
“It allows you to look at other teams to see what they are doing to see what is good and bad to see what they are doing.”
Members of the swat team practice over and over, all of them knowing they will eventually be needed in some time of crisis. These teams are rehearsing and competing; gunfire and scenarios that keep them sharp for the real life emergency call they’re bound to hear.
The competition wrapped up and the Red River Valley SWAT team, based in Fargo, placed first. Otter Tail County was second. There were five teams involved.
Several Kern County Sheriff’s Deparment deputies were recognized Friday for their bravery in the line of duty. “These deputies expected bad things to happen. But they went in, got the wounded out, made sure the area was safe and no one else was in. Not many people in this world are willing to do that,” said Sheriff Donny Youngblood.
“That’s what we are here to do. What we’re supposed to do in the heat of something serious,” said Medal of Valor reciepent Deputy David Messerly.
The ten deputies were honored for their bravery while responding to an explosion that occurred at Scaled Composites in move on July 26, 2007.
Honored today with a Medal of Valor award:
Deputy Dennis Gagnon
Deputy David Messerly
Deputy Richard Mierta
Deputy Marcus Moncur
Deputy Greg Rutter
Deputy Dan Andre
And the following received the Bureau Commendation for bravery:
Sergeant Joe Giuffre
Deputy Roy Scott
Deputy Steve Williams
Reserve Deputy Ed Mackay
A former Navy SEAL is among two Riverside police officers who have been promoted by Chief Russ Leach.
Sgt. Daniel Warren served as a SEAL before joining the Oceanside Police Department in 1999. He transferred to Riverside Police Department three years later, police spokesman Steven Frasher said in a written statement.
Warren served as a patrol officer, a sniper and a field training officer. As a detective, was assigned to the multi-agency Inland Regional Apprehension Team that tracks down and arrests wanted criminals.
He holds a bachelors degree from UC San Diego and a masters in criminal law and society from UC Irvine. He and his wife, Kellie, have three sons.
Detective Jayson Wood was a Marine during the early 1990s. He joined Riverside department in 1998 and has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, police-and-corrections team member, a SWAT officer and a sniper.
Most recently, Wood was a hotel and motel abatement officer. He is a student at California Baptist University. Wood and his wife, Lori, have two sons.
I don’t know what the truth of this is. Kaine is vehemently denying that he told anyone they couldn’t use the words “Jesus Christ” in prayer.
At least five Virginia State Police chaplains have resigned after being told they must refrain from using words like “Jesus” and “Christ.”
Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty, reportedly concerned about offending people of other faiths, directed the agency’s 17 chaplains to begin delivering neutral or nondenominational prayers at functions such as trooper graduation ceremonies and its annual memorial service for fallen officers, the Richmond Times-Dispatch says.
“The department recognizes the importance of a state government agency to be inclusive and respectful of the varied ethnicities, cultures and beliefs of our employees, their families and citizens at large,” Flaherty said in a statement.
Flaherty cited as justification a recent ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld a Fredericksburg City Council ban on sectarian prayer. Flaherty’s office denied that Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine’s administration was behind the decision.
Five members of the state police’s 29-year-old chaplaincy corps have quit their ministries in protest. All of them being sworn officers, they remain on staff as such.
Rex Carter, one of the resigning chaplains, argued he should have the right to pray “how I believe, regardless of whether somebody agrees or not,” saying “There’s a fine line — but it’s a hard line — between an individual’s right to pray versus what is considered state-sponsored speech.”
Sgt. Glenn Phillips, another department chaplain, said the chaplaincy was never meant to be a pulpit to “to further fight the government as it encroaches on religion.”
“Nobody’s been asked to deny their faith or anything like that,” he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.”I’m a Christian, and I don’t think that Jesus would look at this as necessarily a good thing.”
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller noted that the policy does not prohibit chaplains from making religious references at private ceremonies or in individual counseling.
Emphasizing that the policy change is not aimed at Christianity, she said the department has not received any complaints about religious references.
Virginia General Assembly Delegate Charles W. Carrico, a former state trooper, is protesting the decision.
“You don’t check your religious beliefs at the door just because you’re hired by the state and are a member of the department,” he said, characterizing the decision as the “separation of Jesus and state.”
“What we have here is an attack on the name of Jesus, on the name of Christ. And I’m not going to sit back and just let it happen,” Carrico continued, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
Carrico stated he intends to introduce legislation to address the issue.