The WPPA presented awards to five officers and one youth at the 74th Annual Convention banquet on Sunday evening, May 21. The WPPA recognizes law enforcement officers and citizens annually for heroism and contributions to their communities.
Award for Valor
The 2006 Award for Valor was presented to Oneida County Deputy Sheriff Bradley Fogerty for his actions when responding to an incident involving an intoxicated driver.
On March 18, 2005, an Oneida County deputy approached a man at a gas station who he believed to be intoxicated and was going to drive. The subject retreated to his car and took off from the gas station at a high rate of speed, heading south on a major highway. The deputy pursued the subject but lost him after several miles.
Deputy Fogerty intercepted the subject and continued to attempt to stop him. Lincoln County was contacted and asked for mutual assistance, as the pursuit was about to enter their county.
Deputy Fogerty, along with two Lincoln County deputies, pursued the subject until his vehicle began to have problems and overheated. When the subject pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road, Deputy Fogerty attempted to get him to exit the vehicle with his hands up. The subject then stepped from his car with a sawed-off rifle in his hand. Deputy Fogerty continued to tell the subject to drop the gun and put his hands in the air. The subject raised the gun and began to aim it at the three deputies. Deputy Fogerty fired his weapon and struck the subject, causing him to drop his weapon. The subject died as a result of his injuries.
Deputy Fogerty was the only one who reacted to the subject’s actions. Because of his quick response, it is believed that he saved the lives of the two other deputies, as well as his own. His courage and selfless actions will serve as an inspiration to all law enforcement officers.
The 2006 Award for Valor was presented to Deputy Fogerty for performing in a manner that was above and beyond the call of duty.
The 2006 Meritorious Award was presented to Oneida County Deputy Sheriffs Matthew Geenen, Grady Hartman, and Kurt Kopacz for their actions on February 12, 2005, when they responded to an incident involving a suicidal person who was armed with a handgun.
Oneida County Dispatch received a call from a citizen stating that her boyfriend had called her and she believed from the phone call that he was suicidal. The citizen reported that her boyfriend had been depressed since she had known him, but recently he had been acting differently. The citizen reported that he had told her that she should tell his friend that it was not his fault and that he loved her.
Deputies Geenen, Hartman and Kopacz responded. Deputies Geenen and Hartman approached the main garage to check for the suspect’s vehicle, while Deputy Kopacz stayed in a position to provide cover. As the two Deputies approached the main garage, the man exited a detached garage and pointed a handgun as he proceeded toward Deputies Geenen and Hartman. Neighbors in this rural community heard the Deputies telling the man to drop his gun. He would not drop his gun and continued to walk toward the Deputies, and all three fired their weapons simultaneously. The man died as a result of his injuries.
This was the first officer-involved shooting for the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department in many years. Deputies Geenen, Hartman, and Kopacz were faced with an obviously suicidal person, and for their safety and the safety of others, they had to use deadly force to stop the man from hurting anyone else.
The Meritorious Award was presented to Deputies Geenen, Hartman, and Kopacz for performing within the realm of duty and showing great courage, ability, and devotion to police service.
Officer of the Year
Madison Police Sergeant Christine Boyd was named the 2006 Officer of the Year for her contributions to the Madison Police Department K-9 unit, and for her continuing statewide efforts to advance police K-9s.
Sergeant Boyd has been a K-9 handler for seven years. During this time, she has demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership in guiding the Madison Police Department K-9 unit. Boyd’s K-9 partner – Arno, a Dutch Shepard – was the first dual-purpose dog in the history of the Madison Police Department (MPD). Sergeant Boyd worked to expose the department to Arno and his abilities, and to raise the overall level of knowledge among patrol officers about police K-9s.
Over the past seven years, Sergeant Boyd has demonstrated a commitment to police K-9s both locally in Madison and statewide. She developed and presented a K-9 training segment for the Madison Police Department pre-service and leadership academies. Sergeant Boyd and Arno received the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Handler’s Association Meritorious Narcotics Find of the Year award in 2001, 2002 and 2004. In 2004, Sergeant Boyd received a DEA Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding K-9 contributions in drug enforcement, and in 2003, she received an MPD Outstanding Service award for her efforts in the area of police K-9s.
During 2005, Sergeant Boyd continued to demonstrate her commitment to the MPD K-9 unit. She was instrumental in the formation of Capital K-9s, a nonprofit organization expressly formed for the purpose of funding an MPD patrol K-9 unit. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors and is actively involved in the group’s fund-raising. Sergeant Boyd assisted in developing and administering the selection process for new MPD patrol K-9 handlers. She selected the K-9 vendor used by MPD in 2005 and 2006, and assisted in selecting the dogs themselves. Sergeant Boyd developed an MPD K-9 unit procedural manual, and coordinated and oversaw the training and certification of the MPD K-9 handlers. She coordinates public appearances and demonstrations by MPD K-9 handlers, and works with Capital K-9s to coordinate fund-raising appearances by the handlers.
Sergeant Boyd developed and presented department-wide K-9 training. She serves as the first-line supervisor for K-9 handlers, maintaining oversight of their training and actual field deployments. She continues to demonstrate her commitment to statewide K-9 efforts by sharing research materials, which has allowed three other agencies to start K-9 programs. Sergeant Boyd continued to actively utilize her K-9 partner Arno during 2005, as best as she was able to in her position as a patrol sergeant. She and Arno were utilized for numerous narcotics and patrol calls in 2005, and were responsible for the seizure of 6,900 grams of marijuana, 22 grams of cocaine base, $3,700 in U. S. Currency and one firearm.
Sergeant Boyd has exerted these considerable efforts towards the K-9 unit, all the while maintaining significant other responsibilities as a patrol sergeant. Her accomplishments both locally and statewide make her truly worthy of the 2006 Officer of the Year.
The WPPA’s 2006 Youth Award was presented to Sam Farwell of Deerfield, Wisconsin. On January 23, 2005, Sam saved his brother’s life.
The two boys – Ben, 16, and Sam, 14 – were ice fishing with their Aunt Stacy on Neenah Lake, a Marquette County mill pond on the edge of the central Wisconsin village of Oxford. After a few hours of catching little, Stacy left to get lunch at their grandparents’ house, but the two boys decided to stay.
“The weather started getting colder and the wind was blowing harder, so I pulled my arms out of my snowsuit sleeves and put them across my chest,” Ben said. It was then, as Ben was following his younger brother to where a tip-up indicated a fish bite, that he fell through the ice, plunging into water that was about 15 feet deep. With his arms trapped against his chest, he was hanging to the edge of the ice with his chin as all the gear he was wearing threatened to pull him under. Ben said he shouted as the ice broke, but once he was in the water, he was stunned breathless and could only watch as his brother turned around and scanned the horizon.
Sam said that after taking a few steps back toward the shout, he saw his brother’s head at the edge of a hole roughly the size of a manhole cover. At first, a snowdrift obscured the view. Sam slid to the hole on his belly and began pulling on his brother’s collar. But he could only bob him up a little that way, so he rose to his knees, took the empty sleeves in his hands and yanked back with all he had. Sam said that he knew he needed to succeed. The only other people ice fishing were across the lake and at that moment could not hear anything because they were drilling through the ice. Sam pulled Ben from the water and, when Stacy returned, they got Ben in the car and drove to their grandparents’ home.
The 2006 Youth Award was presented to Sam Farwell for his courage and heroism in saving his brother’s life. Unfortunately, Sam was unable to attend the awards ceremony at the annual convention. WPPA President David Mahoney presented the award to Sam at the Deerfield Police Department on June 13.
Certificate of Merit
In addition to the awards presented at the Annual Convention, WPPA has presented a Certificate of Merit for the application of proper police technique in the best interest of police service to the following officers:
Officers Jay Salzmann and Ben Hardgrove of the Fond du Lac Police Department for their actions on June 12, 2005, when they saved the life of a suicidal woman who was attempting to jump off the Johnson Street bridge in the city of Fond du Lac.
Sergeant Michael Blokhuis and Officers Brian Thomson, Todd Fischer, and Andrew Rosenow of the La Crosse Police Department for their actions on September 10, 2005, when they responded to a burning home and saved the life of a woman and her elderly parents.
Sergeant Bill Greening and Officer Misty Servi of the Antigo Police Department for their actions on January 1, 2005, when they rescued two people from a home that was filled with smoke and flames.
Lieutenant Alfonso Morales of the Milwaukee Police Department for his actions on September 29, 2005, when he pulled his unmarked squad into the path of fast-moving cars to protect a young boy who had sprinted into traffic.
Officer Jeffrey Cate of the Marinette Police Department for his actions on August 1, 2005, when he responded to a fire and rescued a young mother, her infant daughter, brother and his friend, who were sleeping when the fire started in the attic above their second-floor apartment.
Officer Stephen P. Endries of the Fond du Lac Police Department for his actions on September 15, 2005, when he and K-9 Ronny responded to a call from the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office for aid in locating and saving the life of a suicidal woman.
The WPPA also recognizes Wisconsin citizens for contributing to their local law enforcement. This year the WPPA presented a Citizen’s Award to Vicki Gates of Thorp, Wisconsin, for her actions on July 11, 2005, when she rescued a young boy from drowning at Riverview Park in Chippewa Falls. Ms. Gates was selected because of her courage and the help she provided to local law enforcement and the community.