Trending Topics

50 states, 50 police heroes: Honoring our LEOs on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

See how law enforcement stepped up through acts of heroism to create some good this past year


Photo/Shawano Police Department

By Police1 Staff

January 9 marks National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day – a day that was established in 2014 to honor and show support for the nation’s more than 800,000 law enforcement officers. In honor of your bravery, courage and commitment to protect and serve every day, our roundup below captures how LEOs stepped up through acts of heroism to create some good this past year.

Did we miss an officer’s amazing act of kindness or bravery? Email us at and we’ll add it to our roundup.


Ala. cop’s uniform melts off his body as he rescues a 3-year-old from a fire

A 3-year-old was trapped inside an apartment engulfed in flames and firefighters were seven minutes away. Officer Tyler Dison, 24, who was finishing an overnight shift when he heard the call come in over the radio, knew he could make it to the scene in almost half that time. FULL STORY


This police officer discovered what happened when a sea lion crossed the road

Officers in Valdez, Alaska, are no strangers to wildlife calls, but usually the subjects are moose and bears. An out-of-place sea lion stopped traffic, making for a memorable shift for patrol Sgt. Chad Clements. The sergeant, along with a few other officers, went out to locate the sea lion. Police officers used their cars in an attempt to herd it toward the water, sounding their sirens to move the wayward mammal along. FULL STORY


Phoenix officer’s kidney donation gives young girl second chance at life

It all began with a Facebook post. One of Officer Jackie Ravelo’s former softball teammates was looking for a new kidney for Lily, her 10-year-old daughter. Lily was sick and needed a transplant. Ravelo got tested and came back a perfect match. She underwent surgery to donate a kidney that saved Lily’s life. FULL STORY


Officer, passerby fold American flag after it’s blown off display

Cabot Police Officer Austin Conrade drove into the parking lot at Renew Community Church after noticing the flag had fallen onto the pavement. In the footage, you can see Conrade putting the large flag over the hood of his cruiser. A passerby saw what Conrade was doing and decided to stop and help him fold the flag. FULL STORY


Train cuts airplane in half seconds after cops drag pilot to safety

The pilot of a small plane averted death twice in a span of minutes. First when he crash-landed onto railroad tracks, then when Los Angeles police rescued him just before a commuter train smashed into the aircraft. Bodycam video showed the officers working furiously to disentangle the bloodied pilot from the cockpit of the crumpled Cessna 172. FULL STORY


Colo. deputy rescues dog from smoking car

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office shared dashcam and bodycam video of the frantic rescue. In the video, Deputy Michael Gregorek is called to a vehicle fire where he finds an SUV spewing smoke. As Gregorek approaches, a man yells, “There’s a dog in the car, there’s a dog in the car.” FULL STORY


Trooper offers distressed army vet a listening ear during traffic stop

Connecticut State Police trooper Kyle Kaelberer pulled over to assist a motorist with their hazard lights on. Kaelberer found a man in distress, who identified himself as an Army veteran. The man said he was on the phone with a counselor from a suicide prevention hotline for military veterans. “We’ll help you out, all right bud?” Kaelberer said to the veteran. “I’m here with you. I’m here with you, all right?” FULL STORY


Cop, 22, single-handedly rescues 6 from fire, then aids medical call on his way home

Officer John Kane had the night shift of his life. The 22-year-old officer stumbled across a house fire, and, realizing no one had yet called 911, proceeded to rescue the six people inside. That alone would have been impressive, but for Kane, it was only half-time. FULL STORY


Fla. LEOs pull toddler, great-grandmother from under car after driver runs them over

Neighbors used a hydraulic jack to raise the car slightly before police and Tampa Fire Rescue crews arrived. Tampa police Cpl. Lance Baker responded to the call and found the woman and girl still trapped. Baker’s body camera was recording as he asked the woman if she could hear him. The woman, whose head, shoulder and arm are protruding from under the car, can be heard moaning as her granddaughter cries. FULL STORY


Rookie Ga. officer performs CPR for nearly 10 minutes to save runner

Officer Carson Yates, who is still in his first year with the Powder Springs Police Department, can be seen performing CPR for nearly 10 minutes, using the training he learned at the police academy. That training ultimately assisted Yates in rendering aid that helped regain the man’s pulse and consciousness, while buying time for paramedics to arrive at the scene. FULL STORY


Officer ‘shares aloha’ with thief’s stolen ukulele

Hawaiian Officer Marc Guillermo wants to show the human side of policing. Guillermo says his love affair with the ukulele goes back some 20 years. He initially taught himself how to play from YouTube. Now, Guillermo says he hopes the attention will show a different side of policing. FULL STORY


Idaho trooper belly flops to catch cat escaping from traffic stop

The cat bolted from the back of the van and dashed into the snow on the side of the interstate. Just as it was about to escape into the trees, the trooper belly-flopped onto the snow and grabbed the cat. FULL STORY


Chicago PD makes 4-year-old’s wish to become a cop come true

A 4-year-old boy’s wish to become a cop has now come true, thanks to the Chicago Police Department. Khalil, who has sickle cell disease, was able to spend a day working as a cop with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, CPD’s detail unit and the CPD Police Academy. FULL STORY


Ind. officers save Christmas for family after presents nabbed by burglar

A group of Indiana officers turned a potential Christmas grinch story into one of joy for a family by replacing gifts that were stolen during a break-in. The South Bend Police Department released a video on Facebook detailing the events that led up to a very memorable experience with one family. FULL STORY


Horse who fell 50 feet down a creek saved by LEOs, firefighters

A horse owes its life to two Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s deputies who helped save it after falling 50 feet down a creek. Two deputies, who were accompanied by Neola Fire and Rescue as well as a towing company, rescued the horse from the muddy waters. The rescue took around two hours to complete, with rescuers using a towing truck to pull the horse out of the creek. FULL STORY


Officer uses CPR to revive premature baby that stopped breathing

Officers were dispatched for reports of a 4-week-old premature baby not breathing. In three minutes, Sgt. Jason Bonczynski arrived at the home and found the baby unresponsive. Bonczynski began administering CPR to the boy, who “began to show signs of life” in about two minutes. FULL STORY


Deputy recognized for finding missing woman, child

When deputies arrived, they started searching the area where the woman and her child were last known to be. Deputy David Prather found some evidence that they had been there recently. Within five or 10 minutes, Prather heard the child playing on the edge of a creek and found the mother was unconscious, but still breathing.


Officer bonds with young girl paralyzed during drive-by shooting

Two years ago, a 7-year-old girl in New Orleans was rushed to the hospital after being caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. Today, the brave NOPD officer who jumped in to assist is continuing to make a difference in her life. FULL STORY


Maine LEO returns to full duty after amputation, shares his journey

Two years ago, Trooper Mickael Nunez lost his leg. Nunez was setting up stop spikes to end a high-speed pursuit when the driver struck him, throwing Nunez into the air. But Nunez persevered through rehab and hard work, becoming the first amputee in Maine State Police history. FULL STORY


Md. officer saves student from being hit by car

Cpl. Annette Goodyear was directing traffic at a crosswalk when the North East Middle School student entered the intersection. The officer then realized that an approaching car was not going to be able to stop in time and reacted quickly by pushing the student out of the way. The officer herself was struck by the car. FULL STORY


Boston police rescue father and son shipwrecked and clinging to a cooler

“We approached and saw just the tip of a submerged vessel,” said Garrett Boyle, one of the cops called out to the scene. “As we looked closer we saw something we thought maybe was a lobster trap a few yards away. But as we approached, it looked bigger.” A cooler, the officers realized. And two heads sticking out just above the water. FULL STORY


Detroit officer forges lifelong bond after helping man found sleeping on street

The creation of the Detroit Police Department’s Unsheltered Response Unit is paying dividends to enhance the relationship between the homeless and officers within the city. It led to one special interaction between a Detroit officer and a member of the city’s most vulnerable population that forged an unbreakable bond. FULL STORY


Minn. deputies rescue 200 anglers from broken ice chunk on lake

Deputies and other first responders headed to the lake, where they “discovered a large portion of the ice with up to 30 yards of open water stranding the fishermen,” authorities said. FULL STORY


Miss. deputies rescue toddlers during flash flooding

The Rankin County Sheriff’s Department posted video on Facebook of deputies walking through brown, knee-deep water to take children to an elevated truck, placing them gently on benches. More than 100 children and 14 workers were rescued from the flooded facility. FULL STORY


Bodycam captures officer helping save baby with RSV after the infant stopped breathing

Officer Richard DuChaine and his partner, Officer Charles Owen, responded to a call about a 1-month-old with RSV who was not breathing. DuChaine performed chest compressions and then back thrusts on the baby girl before EMS providers arrived. She started to breathe again. FULL STORY


Boy who became honorary police officer while fighting cancer remembered

“He just inspired you by no matter how sick he got or how tough it was he always had his thump up and it just made you feel strengthened by the fact that he showed such strength during his battle,” said Butte (Mont.) Sheriff Ed Lester.


Neb. PD, FD makes holiday brighter for 115 children

The Holiday Heroes Program, which is in its 15th year, gives children who are nominated by their teachers an opportunity to go on a shopping spree with a police officer or firefighter. Each child has $100 to spend with $50 going to a toy or game and $50 going to clothing or other necessary items.


Nev. police officers rescue 2 people after car plunges into ravine

Body camera footage shows the intense moments leading up to officers rescuing two people from frigid waters after their car plunged into a ravine. FULL STORY


‘Real-life Lassie': Dog leads police to her hypothermic owner

A state trooper and police responding to reports of a dog running loose on an interstate realized the canine knew exactly what it was doing ... and it was a lifesaver. FULL STORY


N.J. police officers race to rescue driver from burning car

Three Ridgefield Park police officers rescued a driver after the man’s car experienced an electrical issue and burst into flames. Body camera footage from one of the officers shows the LEOs dragging the 55-year-old man out of the passenger’s side front window. FULL STORY


N.M. officers rescue 16 children, 9 adults from dangerous flood waters in national forest

New Mexico State Police rescued 25 people within 17 hours after raging flood waters trapped a Boy Scout troop in the Gila National Forest. Rescue Hoist Operator Kurtus Tenorio and the New Mexico National Guard worked closely with state police officers to save 16 kids and nine adults in the troop. FULL STORY


N.Y. officers lead 60 stranded tourists to safety through deadly blizzard

A tour bus carrying about 60 people who were on their way to Washington, D.C., went off River Road in North Tonawanda, near Gratwick Park, and got wedged into a snow bank. Officers Brandon Lathrop and Mike Rosky managed to get to the bus in a pickup truck and began getting people off and ferrying them to the Gratwick Hose fire station in groups of four. FULL STORY


N.C. cop pulls over speeding mom, offers ride after learning her house was on fire

A North Carolina woman was driving to work when she received a life-changing call: her house was on fire. And as she sped back toward her home, an officer was placed in her path with what she believed was divine intervention. FULL STORY


Refugee to officer: New N.D. police recruit tells story of perseverance

One North Dakota police recruit had a unique story to tell when being sworn into the Fargo Police Department. Ntumba Lusamba came to America after fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo and spending 11 years in a refugee camp. FULL STORY


Ohio trooper, good Samaritan honored for saving college student’s life after crash

On April 22, 2022, Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Matthew Soeder was called to the scene of a two-vehicle crash. When he arrived, the scene was chaotic. The vehicles were flipped over, one victim was having a seizure and another had life-threatening injuries. FULL STORY



Lorissa Martinez reunites with Officer Megan Elias, who helped her years ago, at the Tulsa Police Department’s Public Safety Communications ceremony.

Photo/Tulsa PD Facebook

Okla. dispatcher reunited with officer who helped her years ago

As several recruits graduated from the Tulsa Police Department’s Public Safety Communications program, one recruit had a touching reunion with an officer who had helped her several years before. FULL STORY


Portland cop helps woman in crisis who delivered baby on sidewalk

Officer Nathan Kirby-Glatkowski has been called to many sad situations in his past six years with the bureau. But a call this year brought something “wholly unique,” he said. Kirby-Glatkowski helped a woman in a mental health crisis who had delivered her baby on a downtown sidewalk. FULL STORY


‘Keep breathing': Video shows officers rescuing woman from burning house

State College police officers were first on the scene of a house fire, where they worked quickly to rescue the woman trapped inside. Five officers were named Law Enforcement Officers of the Year for their actions that day, some of which was captured from body camera footage. FULL STORY


Officers save residents from burning R.I. apartment building

Officers said they encountered thick black smoke and extreme heat conditions. They were informed that residents might be trapped on the third floor. That’s when Sgt. Brendan Legare, Officers Patrick Tordoya and Steven Bradley began a mission beyond their call of duty.


S.C. police officer rescues woman from burning car

“I can’t move, I can’t breathe,” a woman trapped in a burning car told a Mount Pleasant, South Carolina police officer working to rescue her. “Is anybody in the vehicle?” Officer Doug Richards asks twice before turning a fire extinguisher on the flames. “I’m going to try to get you out,” he tells the woman. FULL STORY


Cop finishes DoorDash delivery after arresting the driver

One woman expecting food she ordered from DoorDash got a story to tell along with her Arby’s delivery. Since its posting, the TikTok featuring a good Samaritan police officer has been viewed over 11 million times. FULL STORY


Officer helps 84-year-old woman get to her hair appointment

A sweet moment between an officer and an elderly woman, who was trying to make it to her hair appointment on time, was captured on video and eventually went viral on TikTok. FULL STORY


Officers dodge exploding ammo while pulling man from burning car

As police worked to remove the unresponsive driver, they noticed multiple firearms and ammunition in the back seat of the vehicle, with rounds beginning to pop due to the flames. FULL STORY


Utah cops fall through frozen pond rushing to rescue teens

Two officers slowly walked and slid on their stomachs onto the ice to help the teen who was struggling in the water. Both officers plunged through the ice while trying to help the teen. FULL STORY


Vt. State Police among responders who delivered gifts to children’s hospital

First responders from many agencies came together for Operation Fire Cuffs, which delivered gifts for kids at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital.


Deputy who moonlights as country singer honors LE in new song

A Virginia deputy, who moonlights as a country singer, just turned up the volume with his latest hit that honors law enforcement officers. The track, “Hold That Line,” was released by Chris Darlington in March and hit over 50,000 streams in its first three weeks. FULL STORY


Wash. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife officer honored for saving 4 lives in less than a year

During one incident, Jacob Schrader transported an unconscious 1-year-old to the hospital himself, simultaneously performing CPR and driving. FULL STORY


W.Va. LEO reunites with woman at her wedding after saving her life years prior

West Virginia State Police Cpl. Timothy S. Perry was on patrol when a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction traveled over into his lane. Perry conducted a traffic stop and immediately noticed the driver was acting strange. He saw a woman in the back seat under a jacket. He later found out the woman was reported as missing. The woman, who credits the officer for helping save her life, was reunited with Perry during her wedding.


Wis. officer entangled in 40-car pile-up worked to save others

A massive pile-up on a wintery, Wisconsin highway involved nearly 40 vehicles, including that of Shawano Police Officer Jeff Buettner. Thankfully, Buettner walked away with only minor injuries and directed his energy into helping others. FULL STORY


Wyo. PD ‘beefs up’ patrol ahead of holiday weekend

“Early this morning, it was reported that five suspicious subjects were hoofing it across Dell Range Boulevard. Officers quickly located the subjects, who were uncooperative, and initiated a low-speed ‘pursuit.’ There was a lot at steak as officers worked to steer the cattle away from oncoming traffic,” the department wrote on Facebook.