The service of law enforcement officers and the aid of residents recently has been reinforced by circumstances and recognized by citations.
Five Jefferson City police officers, a Cole County sheriff's deputy and three residents have been honored by the city's Police Department.
The award recipients include:
• Officer Frank H. Richards received the meritorious service award for attending to a 16-year-old with a pierced femoral artery until medical help arrived.
• Officer Curtis B. Bohanan received a medal of valor and Deputy Chris Suchanek was awarded a certificate of appreciation for their actions during a shooting exchange at Capitol Plaza Hotel.
• Officer Jason Thomas earned a medal of honor after engaging in a struggle with an uncooperative driver. Certificates of appreciation were presented to three citizens - Jimmy Cook, Teresa Cook and Michael Ballard - for helping Thomas restrain the suspect and summoning additional police assistance.
• Officers Zachary S. Kolb and Jason D. Sederwall were honored for their roles in stopping and apprehending a suspect. Kolb received a medal of honor for the apprehension. Sederwall - profiled Monday in the News Tribune - initially stopped the suspect vehicle, which then reversed, accelerated and pinned the officer beneath his motorcycle. Sederwall was able free himself and transmit a suspect description before he collapsed.
Residents, once again, were instrumental in coming to the aid of an officer. After he collapsed, Sederwall recalled: "Next thing I know, people were surrounding me, just trying to help and make sure I was okay."
Each situation involving law enforcement officers and suspects is unique. Consequently, no guidelines exist for when it is appropriate or safe for people to intercede.
We do, however, encourage people to be vigilant in watching for suspicious activity and reporting it promptly to the appropriate law enforcement agency.