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7 POLC officers honored for putting their lives on the line to save others

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: October 23, 2019

Photo by Dave Millar, Photographic Impressions North                                                                                                                                                                                   From left, Jackson Police Officers Michael McCord, Patrick Rose, Trent Marcum (center), Sgt. Wesley Stanton and Officer Justin Thoresen received Outstanding Service Awards at the POLC/GELC Annual Conference Aug. 27, 2019 in Traverse City.

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor with excerpts from nbc25.news

Six Jackson Police Officers and a Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer were recognized for bravery by putting their lives on the line to save others.

POLC Outstanding Service Awards (OSA) were presented to the Jackson Officers Aug. 27, 2019 during the Police Officers Labor Council/General Employees Labor Council (POLC/GELC) Conference at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City. The Mt. Morris Officer received his award in September. They were nominated by fellow POLC Officers for the annual awards.

On Jan. 28, 2019, two Jackson Police Officers protected a woman whose armed ex-boyfriend attempted to forcefully enter her apartment in the middle of the night. The 29-year-old suspect shot at three officers, who returned fire, eliminating the threat.

The officers were dispatched around 2:45 a.m. to Southridge Park Housing Complex on Warwick Court after a female caller told police her ex-boyfriend, who regularly carries a handgun, was banging on her doors and windows, attempting to get into her apartment.

When Officer Patrick Rose arrived, the suspect 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. The suspect got up and fired at the former Jackson Officer. Sgt. Stanton and the Officer returned fire, eliminating the threat.

Jackson 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 nomination letter for OSA Awards. “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.”

On Feb. 2, 2019, Jackson Police Officers Trent Marcum, Andrew Fugate, Michael McCord and Justin Thoresen responded to a call regarding a suicidal/homicidal suspect threatening suicide by cop on the 100 block of W. Mansion Street around 6:30 p.m.

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 the mother also calling for help.

Courtesy of Jackson Police Department
Jackson Officer Andrew Fugate

Officer McCord went around the side of the house and looked through a window where he 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 mother. Officer Fugate kicked in the door and all four officers entered.

The man, who still had his mom in a chokehold with his left hand, while holding a knife in his right hand, was yelling at officers to shoot him and that he was going to kill his mother. After officers ordered the suspect to drop the knife, he raised it as if to stab his mother. Officer Marcum fired at the suspect. He went down and his mother got away.

Police discovered she had been stabbed in the right side, which punctured her lung, upper chest and her hand 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.

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 of a house fire at 5413 Farmhill Road around 11:45 p.m. It was unknown if the home was occupied. Paulic noticed the home was well-kept and there was a garbage can at the road, so he rushed to the back of the home where the flames were coming from.

Photo courtesy of Mt. Morris Township Police  Department                                      Mt. Morris Township K9 Officer Blake Paulic is receiving a POLC Outstanding Service Award for rescuing an elderly woman who was trapped inside her burning home.

Through thick smoke, he saw what appeared to be a motionless human hand. With the homes’ doors and windows covered in Armour Guard security bars, Paulic pulled as hard as he could on the rear door slider, which was slightly ajar.

Paulic was able to free the bars, and without pausing to consider his own safety, he ran inside. “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 after they escaped 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.

“What’s crazy about this job is you never know when it’s going to happen or what’s going to happen,” Blake told nbc25news. “My actions weren’t because I was law enforcement or a first responder. It’s human nature to save somebody else. What kind of person would I be if I stood back and did nothing?”

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.

To view published articles on the 2019 POLC Outstanding Service Award winners, click on the links below: