Statement as issued Friday by the Fort Wayne post of the Indiana State Police:
Indianapolis, IN – It has been long said that the strength of the Indiana State Police lies in the character of its people. Within that character belies a dedication to duty, service and self sacrifice; attributes that were honored yesterday at a recognition and awards ceremony held at the Indiana State Police post in Indianapolis.
Superintendent Paul E. Whitesell, PhD and Colonel Rick Weigand, Assistant Superintendent presented the following awards to Troopers from the Fort Wayne post:
Combat Action Award – To earn this award the recipient must have performed in an intelligent, courageous, responsible manner involving self-sacrifice while at risk that involved elevated circumstances of danger to the officer.
•Sergeant Aaron Cook and Master Trooper Larry Schenk were involved in an incident on July 12, 2009 in rural Huntington County in which a domestic situation between a father and adult son resulted in arson of an outbuilding. The following morning, the suspect came out of a corn field and was seen and heard by both Troopers as they sat in marked vehicles near the father's home. The suspect was armed when he left the cover of the field. Both Cook and Schenk took defensive positions and ordered him to drop his weapons. He fired on the Troopers and they returned fire. The suspect was hit, fell to the ground and then took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
•Master Trooper Doug Kelly located a stolen vehicle on May 21, 2009, and when he tried to stop it, a vehicle pursuit ensued. The vehicle drove into a plowed field and got stuck. Kelly chased the driver on foot even as the driver threw a large rock at him. When Kelly caught him, the driver grabbed Kelly's lapel microphone and tried to grab his gun from his holster. The driver ran off again and when Kelly caught him a second time, Kelly was struck in the head by a rock. A second officer used his Taser to help subdue the driver who was taken into custody. Kelly suffered wounds to his head along with two broken fingers.
District Life Award – This award is presented to the top OWI enforcement Trooper for each of the 14 State Police posts and recognizes their efforts in reducing the number of traffic deaths on Indiana roadways.
•Trooper Caleb Anderson with 150 OWI arrests, which is second in the state among all Troopers. Anderson also won this award in 2009 and 2010.
2011 Life Award Top Five – This award is presented to the top five OWI enforcement Troopers from across the entire state.
•Trooper Caleb Anderson (number two) with 150 OWI arrests.
•Trooper Clint Hetrick (number five) with 110 OWI arrests.
Trooper of the District – This award is presented to a District Trooper from each of the 14 State Police posts, as chosen by command personnel, who have performed beyond normal expectations in, but not limited to traffic and criminal enforcement, community involvement and specialty assignments such as SCUBA, ERT, Meth Lab Team, Instructor ratings, or other services performed.
•Trooper Clint Hetrick whose award states "Presented in recognition for the high level of service, dedication and professionalism exemplified in service to the citizens of Indiana and the Indiana State Police".