This week, several Jefferson City Police Department officers were given special citations for their service.
The officers and their citations are:
• Jason Hagemeyer and Jon Kempker, Medals of Valor
As Officers Josh Hagemeyer and Jon Kempker were about to end their shift, they were dispatched to what appeared to be a "routine" call in the 900 block of Jefferson Street.
When they arrived, they found a distraught female in a struggle with an unknown male.
The suspect had pushed his way into her apartment before he began to sexually assault her in front of her 1-year-old child. The officers yelled for the suspect to stop, and he immediately attempted to escape by running to the rear of the apartment.
Hagemeyer and Kempker gave pursuit and cornered him in a small room in the rear of the apartment.
Discovering his escape route was blocked, the suspect - who was 25 years old and 6 feet, 250 pounds - charged the officers and attempted to grab for their firearms.
Because of what was later found to be a drug-induced state and his physical size, the suspect was able to fight off both officers.
During the fight, the officers applied pepper spray, struck the suspect with their fists, applied numerous knee strikes and hit him with their flashlights.
Kempker, who was a high school wrestler, finally placed his arm around the suspect's neck and rolled onto his back which forced the suspect to release Hagemeyer's weapon. The suspect then rolled on top of Kempker and began pulling Kempker's weapon from his holster. Hagemeyer drew his pistol but held his fire when he realized Kempker was lying under the suspect and, therefore, in the line of fire.
Realizing this, Kempker managed to roll the suspect to the side. Thinking quickly and knowing that the suspect was about to pull the weapon from Kempker's grasp, Hagemeyer immediately fired one shot at the suspect, striking him in the lower back. This resulted in the suspect fighting even harder. Hagemeyer discharged his weapon again to defend Kempker. This weakened the suspect, causing him to cease his efforts to fight, thus allowing the officers to take him into custody and begin applying medical care.
• Curtis Bohanan, Medal of Honor
On April 23, 2009, Jefferson City Police were dispatched to the area of Atchison and Monroe streets to locate a suspect in an assault who was armed with a firearm.
Officers converged on the area, and during the search, Bohanan located a person matching the suspect's description. As he attempted to stop the suspect by spotlighting him and ordering him to stop, the suspect ran from the officer and a foot chase began with Bohanan in pursuit.
During the pursuit, the suspect continued to grab with both hands at his pants, as if he were reaching for something. The pursuit continued two blocks, during which the suspect pulled a rifle he had concealed in his pants.
Still fleeing, the suspect ran around the outside of an apartment complex and as the officer turned the corner to continue pursuit, the suspect turned on the officer and began raising the rifle and pointing it in Bohanan's direction.
Bohanan realized the impending deadly threat and fired two shots from his weapon at the suspect, missing him. This caused the suspect to turn and flee once again, this time into a nearby apartment building.
Bohanan did not pursue alone, but directed the establishment of a perimeter with the assistance of other officers. The SWAT team mobilized on the scene, the suspect and a fully loaded assault rifle were located, and the suspect was taken into custody without injury.
• Lt. Randy Dampf, Medal of Honor
While working as the supervisor of the detective section in non-uniformed assignment, Dampf overhead a report of a disturbance with a report of possible shots fired that was dispatched to patrol officers.
Since he was close by, he drove to the scene to offer assistance.
Dampf was the first to arrive and began to observe the scene, awaiting patrol officers' arrival.
While waiting, two males burst through an exterior apartment door while engaged in a struggle, and a third male followed. Knowing that there was possible gunfire during the disturbance before his arrival, Dampf exited his patrol vehicle, identified himself as a police officer, and ordered the suspects to stop fighting.
One of the suspects ran back inside, while another ran toward Dampf, claiming he had been robbed and shot at inside the apartment. The other suspect then ran back inside the building as well.
Dampf took a cover position behind his vehicle. Not knowing whether the individual who had run to him was a victim or suspect, Dampf ordered him to take cover behind his car.
While awaiting assistance, both of the suspects who had fled into the apartment then emerged on a raised deck. One opened fire on Dampf, who returned fire with two shots, causing the suspects to jump to the ground and flee the area.
Responding patrol officers were able to locate both suspects and take them into custody within several blocks of the scene.
• Officer Jeff Collins, Medal of Valor
While working as an undercover narcotics officer, Collins had developed information that a certain part of town was a known narcotics area. He and his female partner were intending to purchase narcotics from local dealers to prepare cases for prosecution.
During the early evening hours, they were approached by two local dealers.
During the conversation, one of the suspects pulled out a handgun and placed the gun to Collins' head, demanding money.
The suspect with the gun became agitated, repeatedly asking Collins if he was a law enforcement officer. It was clear to Collins that the suspect was becoming nervous and unstable, even after he gave the suspect the $40 he had in his wallet.
The suspect then started yelling at Collins to give him the keys to the vehicle he was driving.
Knowing the situation was quickly becoming more dangerous and the suspects probably intended to shoot both officers, Collins began to slowly and carefully reach for his own concealed firearm.
The suspect abruptly moved away from Collins' vehicle and fired one shot at Collins' head. The single shot penetrated the back glass of Collins' vehicle, striking the rear headrest of Collins' seat, stopped only by a piece of metal within inches of Officer Collins' head.
Collins and his partner were able to escape, and through a two-week investigation, later identified and arrested two suspects. The assailant was sentenced to 44 years in state and federal prison.