LANSING, Mich. — Six Jackson Police Officers and one Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer were recognized for bravery and dedication to their profession for putting their lives on the line to save others in three separate incidents. The Jackson Officers were awarded their Police Officers Labor Council Outstanding Service Awards (OSA) Aug. 27, 2019 during the Police Officers Labor Council/General Employees Labor Council (POLC/GELC) Conference at Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City. The Mt. Morris Officer received his award later. The seven were among a group of officers nominated for the annual awards by their peers.
JACKSON OFFICER PATRICK ROSE AND SGT. WESLEY STANTON
On Jan. 28, 2019, two Jackson Police Officers protected a woman from her armed ex-boyfriend, who tried to forcefully enter her apartment around 2:45 a.m.
The woman called police and said her ex-boyfriend, who regularly carries a handgun, was banging on her doors and windows, attempting to get into her Southridge Park Housing Complex apartment on Warwick Court. Officer Patrick Rose arrived first, and when the 29-year-old suspect saw him, he fled on foot in the yards outside the complex, despite Rose’s orders to stop. Officer Rose tactically searched for him using his handgun-mounted flashlight. The suspect emerged from between buildings and fired at Rose, who returned fire, striking the suspect in the back.
Rose took cover while Sgt. Wesley Stanton and a now former Jackson officer, responded from the opposite direction where they found the suspect lying face down on the ground holding his gun. They gave several commands to show his hands, but the suspect got up and fired at the officers. They returned fire, eliminating the threat.
Jackson Police Officer Marc Smith commended the officers for their quick response locating and stopping the suspect. “Officer Rose did an outstanding job in approaching a dangerous situation in a tactical manner,” Smith wrote in his OSA nomination letter. “The suspect was clearly lying in wait to ambush Officer Rose. In today’s world of police work, the decision to shoot someone as they are running away can be a difficult choice to make. Officer Rose absolutely made the correct decision.”
JACKSON OFFICERS TRENT MARCUM, ANDREW FUGATE, MICHAEL MCCORD AND JUSTIN THORESEN
On Feb. 2, 2019, Jackson Police Officers Trent Marcum, Andrew Fugate, Michael McCord and Justin Thoresen responded to a house on the 100 block of W. Mansion Street around 6:30 p.m. to a call about a suicidal/homicidal suspect threatening suicide by cop.
When the 29-year-old suspect realized police were outside the home, he began screaming he had a gun and was going to kill his mother. Police heard his mother calling for help.
Officer McCord looked through a side window of the house and saw the suspect holding his mother in a headlock with a knife in his hand. Officer Marcum made the decision that entering the home was necessary to protect the woman, so Officer Fugate kicked in the door.
All four officers went inside and saw the suspect had his mom in a chokehold with his left hand, while holding a knife in his right hand. He was yelling at officers to shoot him and that he was going to kill her. Officers ordered him to drop the knife. Instead, he raised the knife as if to stab his mother and Officer Marcum fired at the suspect, striking him in the neck. The suspect went down, and his mother got away.
It was then that police realized she had been stabbed in her upper chest, hand, and right side, which punctured her lung, before officers entered the home. “The decision to make entry in order to protect the female was heroic,” wrote Officer Smith in his nomination letter. “Officers entered under the belief that the suspect was armed with a gun based upon his own statements. It is highly plausible that had entry not been made at that moment, the suspect would have killed his mother.”
“The professionalism displayed by officers following the shooting was equally as impressive,” Smith wrote. “Aid was immediately rendered to the suspect as well as the mother.”
Both were taken to Henry Ford Allegiance Health for treatment.
MT. MORRIS K9 OFFICER BLAKE PAULIC
On Nov. 19, 2018, Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer Blake Paulic rescued an unconscious elderly woman trapped inside her burning home.
Officer Paulic was first on the scene around 11:45 p.m. at 5413 Farmhill Road. Not knowing if anyone was inside, Paulic observed the home was well-kept and saw a garbage can at the road. He raced to the back of the home where the flames were coming from.
Through thick smoke, he saw what looked like a motionless human hand. The homes’ doors and windows were covered in armour guard security bars, so Paulic pulled as hard as he could on the rear door slider, which was slightly ajar, and was able to free the bars. He ran inside without pausing to consider his own safety.
“Through thick smoke and tremendous heat from the flames, Officer Paulic then pulled the elderly female from the burning home and carried her to the safety of the front yard away from the burning home,” said Mt. Morris Township Police Det. Sgt. Michael Veach.
Paramedics arrived seconds later and treated the 78-year-old victim for smoke inhalation. She had soot in her mouth and throat, but no burns, Veach said. Thanks to Paulic’s heroic actions, the victim survived the fire after originally being admitted to the hospital in critical condition, Veach said.
Firefighters searched the home, but there were no other people or animals inside. Mt. Morris Township Fire officials said the fire was caused by a space heater in the woman’s bedroom. The house was a complete loss.
“Officer Paulic demonstrated tremendous bravery for risking his own life to enter the burning structure to save the life of a complete stranger,” Veach wrote in his nomination letter for the OSA Award.
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