Saline Police Department personnel were honored for professionalism and heroism at the May 15 Saline City Council meeting.
Police Chief Larry Hrinik awarded sergeants, officers and dispatchers for extraordinary work in 2016.
Sergeants Andy Hartwig and Steve Maag, Officers Christpher Hoffman, Mike Snook, David Ringe, Chris Boulter, Jeff Flynn and dispatchers Leah Farnsworth and Terry Seames were honored by their chief on a day when the city’s flag flew at half-mast to honor the 144 police officers killed in action in 2016.
Officers were honored for everything from life-saving heroism to training.
Sgt. Hartwig, for example, was honored for achieving the highest score during a firearm point-and-shoot target challenge.
Officer Hoffman was awarded with the Department Citation for his quick thinking and decisive action Aug. 20. Officer Hoffman was on patrol when he saw the aftermath of a crash at US-12 and Hopper Street. Hoffman saw one of the damaged vehicles was still moving westbound slowly on Michigan Avenue. He flashed his emergency lights and tried to pull over the driver, but the car kept moving. He heard the driver screaming “I can’t stop! Help me!” as the vehicle was moving west in the eastbound lane near Keveling Drive, toward heavy traffic and pedestrians at Dairy Queen and the construction beyond Maple Road.
Believing the vehicle was likely to hit another vehicle or a pedestrian, or that the engine might catch fire, Hoffman took action. He yelled at the driver to hit the police cruiser. He then pulled in front of it and matched its speed. He slowly decelerated until the vehicle made contact, and then continued to decelerate until both vehicles stopped. Once the driver was out, he was able to enter the vehicle and turn off the engine. The Department Citation is the highest award presented by the Saline Police Department.
Officer Mike Snook was honored with the Life Saving Award for saving a man’s life, July 12, 2016.
At 9:20 a.m., Snook responded to a medical emergency on the 400 block of North Maple Road. Officer Snook found a 49-year-old man lying motionless on the floor. Unable to find a pulse, Snook performed CPR until medics arrived. The man survived the emergency and Snook is credited with saving his life.
Officer Snook and Sgt. Maag received the Certificate of Merit for performing their duties with thoroughness, conscientiousness, determination and initiative under difficult conditions for their work to safely diffuse a situation with a suicidal gunman Sept. 30.
Officers Ringe, Boulter, Flynn and Hoffman and dispatchers Farnsworth and Seames received a Letter of Commendation for carrying out a valuable service to the department and community during this ordeal.
Just before 4 p.m., police were dispatched to a home for reports of an armed man threatening suicide. Officers Ringe, Snook and Boulter arrived on the scene and spoke to the man’s wife about the subject and his location.
Officer Snook called the man and spoke with him on the phone for over four hours and was instrumental in convincing the man to surrender peacefully. The man was taken into protective custody without injury and transported to hospital for evaluation. Snook received help from Officer Flynn, a trained negotiator. Officers Ringe, Boulter and Hoffman secured a perimeter to keep neighbors in their homes and out of harm’s way.
Sgt. Maag, only recently appointed to sergeant, was in charge of the scene. Chief Hrinik said he managed the situation flawlessly. He called Metro SWAT to the scene. After the arrival and deployment of the Metro SWAT, the subject indicated he would surrender.
Mayor Brian Marl offered the city’s gratitude to the honored officers and all of the personnel of the Saline Police Department.
“We are indebted to you for your service. So thank you very much,” Marl said.