Each year IACP and Motorola Solutions recognize state troopers and provincial police who have demonstrated bravery, courage, leadership, and professionalism. At the annual Division Midyear meeting, the IACP and Motorola Solutions honor four regional finalists, and announce the IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year.
“Motorola Solutions is proud to partner with the International Association of Chiefs of Police to honor the selfless work being done in police agencies every day around the world,” said Jim Mears, senior vice president, North America Market, Motorola Solutions. “Men and women in state and provincial police agencies know the situations they face can change in an instant, yet they continue to put their lives on the line to help keep their communities safe. Motorola Solutions humbly recognizes the brave efforts of our four finalists and the sacrifices made by all law enforcement.”
This year there were many submissions detailing the courageous, dedicated acts of troopers in state and provincial agencies that exemplify what it means to serve and protect their communities. This year’s nominees are:
Name: Trooper Adam Whitmarsh
Agency: Nevada Highway Patrol
Region: Mountain Pacific
Trooper Adam Whitmarsh was off duty when he was attending the “Route 91” Country Music Festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. After the first of many shots were fired into the crowd, Trooper Whitmarsh immediately began working to get his family and friends to safety. Trooper Whitmarsh and a fellow Nevada Highway Patrol Sergeant worked together to protect their families, friends, and other concertgoers from the gunfire and guide them to the nearest exit including carrying two of the injured out of the venue. Trooper Whitmarsh then decided to run back onto the fairgrounds and administer first aid to anyone who was in need. Using supplies from the medical tent, Trooper Whitmarsh tended to those who were wounded; clotting severe injuries and using improvised tourniquets to help those who were badly bleeding.
“Trooper Whitmarsh’s actions during this unprecedented mass shooting were extraordinary. Not only was he off duty when the incident began but he was in the company of his family and friends. Despite the natural instinct to protect them, he continued to show concern and dedication to all victims throughout. Not only did he lead many persons out of harm’s way saving countless lives, he returned to a deadly situation and continued to provide as much lifesaving care as possible.” – Colonel John O’Rourke, Nevada Highway Patrol
Name: Corporal Seth Kelly
Agency: Pennsylvania State Police
Region: North Atlantic
On November 7, 2017 Corporal Seth Kelly arrived on scene to assist Trooper Ryan Seiple with a routine traffic stop that had turned into a suspected DUI. After the suspect was pulled over for speeding, but after a second approach, Trooper Seiple suspected the suspect was under the influence of a controlled substance. After failing the field sobriety test, the suspect began to get violent as the troopers attempted to take him into custody. As the altercation continued, both troopers deployed their electronic control weapons, but the struggle escalated onto the busy highway. Corporal Kelly brought the subject back onto the shoulder of the highway, but he managed to break free, return to his vehicle, and grab a pistol. The suspect fired six shots, three of which struck Corporal Kelly. Despite being injured, and one of the shots being potentially fatal, Corporal Kelly managed to return fire and shield himself behind the guard rail. While the suspect fled the scene, Corporal Kelly assessed his injuries and noticed he’d been shot close to his femoral artery. Using the personal tourniquet he had been carrying on his duty belt for just a few months, Corporal Kelly was able to save his own life.
“During this incident, Corporal Kelly epitomized the characteristics of a true leader and embodied the textbook qualities we expect in our supervisors. He was in the field watching over and assisting his fellow Trooper; in the thick of the fight, when needed. Most importantly, he sacrificed his own well-being in that he didn’t assess his own injuries and didn’t tend to himself until the threat was gone and his people were safe.” – Colonel Tyree Blocker, Pennsylvania State Police
Name: Trooper Dustin Henningsen
Agency: Iowa State Patrol
Region: North Central
On February 28th, 2017 Trooper Henningsen was out on patrol looking for stolen vehicles when he noticed a vehicle on fire in a ditch next to the highway. After notifying communications about the vehicle fire, Trooper Henningsen approached the vehicle and noticed that the man inside was having difficulty responding to his commands. As the flames escalated, Trooper Henningsen was able to successfully break the window, climb into the car to unlock the door, and remove the occupant before the flames consumed the vehicle. Both Trooper Henningsen and the driver were sent to the hospital and treated for their injuries and made a full recovery.
“Trooper Dustin Henningsen exemplifies altruism in both his professional and personal life. It is evident from his service to our country, on to his service to people throughout Iowa, to his heroic conduct during this event, that he is a great asset to public safety. The Iowa State Patrol is privileged to have a hero such as Trooper Henningsen among our ranks. His swift and selfless actions are an example for each and every state trooper and peace officer throughout the nation.” – Colonel Jeff Ritzman, Iowa State Patrol
Name: Corporal Hope Hohertz
Agency: Texas Department of Public Safety
Corporal Hohertz was on her way to her office when a Big Springs Police Department dispatcher reported a man with a gun at a local business. After hearing the dispatch, Corporal Hohertz was prepared to assist with the call and headed toward the scene. After the suspect had fled the scene in his pickup truck, a Big Springs police officer pulled him over for a traffic stop. Corporal Hohertz was nearby and was able to assist the officer conduct the stop. As Corporal Hohertz approached the passenger side of the vehicle, she noticed the suspect had his hand on a rifle, but she was unable to notify the officer of the weapon. As the suspect reached for his wallet, Corporal Hohertz was able to indicate to the officer that there was a weapon without bringing it to the attention of the suspect. The driver did not comply with the request to exit his vehicle but instead grabbed the rifle from his center console and began firing. The driver fired at Corporal Hohertz, but she was able to return fire and shield herself from the suspect. The suspect then fled the scene. Corporal Hohertz quickly jumped back into her patrol car and helped the Big Spring officer pursue the suspect. When the vehicle stopped in the middle of the road and the suspect began to fire his weapon. Corporal Hohertz grabbed her shotgun and began firing, striking the suspect several times. When the suspect hit the ground, Corporal Hohertz provided cover for the officers giving them the opportunity to secure the suspect and remove the threat.
“In a high stressful event, Corporal Hohertz showed her leadership and courageousness, which potentially saved the lives of other officers. Corporal Hohertz maintained her composure and reverted to her training, while acting on intelligence and sound judgement. After the event, Corporal Hohertz showed compassion for the situation, but knew her actions and decisions were based on a deep reverence for human life.” – Director Steven McCraw, Texas Department of Public Safety
“IACP is proud to honor those law enforcement officers who go above and beyond to serve their communities, putting their lives at risk each day,” said IACP President Louis M. Dekmar. “Congratulations to our finalists Corporal Hohertz, Corporal Kelly, Trooper Henningsen, and Trooper Whitmarsh for their heroic actions and dedication to public safety. We appreciate the selfless courage, commitment, and professionalism displayed by all of the finalists. They are exceptional examples of the heroism displayed by law enforcement officers across the globe. On behalf of the entire association, congratulations and thank you for your public service.”
IACP and Motorola Solutions look forward to honoring the finalists on March 16th from 6pm-9pm at the 2018 Division Midyear in Nashville. To learn more about the 2018 Division Midyear visit our Division Midyear website.