Four Southern Illinois police officers receive FOP awards
Four Southern Illinois police officers have been honored for on-duty valor and life-saving actions.
Two Carbondale police officers and two officers from Du Quoin received awards from the Fraternal Order of Police, FOP, State Lodge.
“These officers put their lives on the line to protect and save their fellow citizens,” FOP State Lodge president Chris Southwood said in a news release.
“Their courage and quick thinking remind us of what every man and woman who wears the badge faces every day in one of America’s most difficult and dangerous professions.”
The FOP Valor Award, which honors police officers who demonstrate selfless bravery by risking their own lives to assist and protect another, was presented to Officers Trey Harris and Corey Brinkley of the Carbondale Police Department.
Late the evening of July 31, 2016, the two officers were on patrol when they heard shots fired and saw a vehicle fleeing the area.
The officers pursued the vehicle into a rural area, where one of the suspects leaned out the window and fired several shots at the police car, one of which went through the windshield and struck Harris below the right eye.
Brinkley, who was driving the squad car, stopped the pursuit and took his partner to a Carbondale hospital for treatment.
The suspects were later captured in another state based on information officers Harris and Brinkley were able to gather during the pursuit.
Harris has lost the vision in his right eye, but otherwise sustained no other permanent physical damage, although the bullet wound could have easily been fatal, as it missed his brain stem by mere fractions of an inch.
After being struck by the bullet, Harris calmly reported by radio that he had been shot and was being taken to a hospital for treatment.
The FOP’s Life Saving Award, given for outstanding efforts in performing actions or applying techniques that result in saving or sustaining a human life, was awarded to Du Quoin police officers Cale Bastien and Chris Robinson.
On Feb. 5, the officers responded to a 911 call concerning an eight-week-old child who was unresponsive and had stopped breathing.
The officers started CPR on the child, and when they realized the responding ambulance was still too far away, they placed the baby in their squad car and rushed her to the hospital, where she received the emergency treatment she needed.
The quick actions of officers Bastien and Robinson were credited with saving the baby’s life.
The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States.
The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest state lodge, representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers – more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide.