September 4, 2012: Officer Tyler Carlton was travelling southbound on Interstate 680 in heavy commuter traffic and prepared to initiate a traffic stop on a Jeep Wrangler. Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, involved ahead in a separate incident clearing traffic, was radioed by Carlton indicating his location and intent to make the enforcement stop. Youngstrom observed the approaching Jeep and directed the driver to pull over. The driver complied and pulled to a stop along the right shoulder, directly behind Youngstrom’s vehicle. As Youngstrom approached the driver’s window, Carlton pulled up behind and exited his cruiser. Following a short conversation, the driver reached into a concealed weapons compartment his vehicle, pulled out a handgun, and fired once at Youngstrom, hitting him in the head. Carlton quickly responded by firing several rounds at the driver while tactically moving towards his downed partner. The driver was struck five times and fatally wounded. Carlton immediately rushed to the aid of Youngstrom, radioed for assistance, and began life-saving efforts as Youngstrom lay unconscious in the traffic lane. He was soon aided by an off-duty trauma surgeon who had been travelling in the heavy traffic, and Youngstrom was eventually transported to John Muir Medical Center and was placed on life support. On September 5, 2012, Officer Youngstrom succumbed to his injuries. However, due to Officer Carlton’s heroic efforts during this tragic event, Youngstrom remained alive long enough for his family to gather at his side and say goodbye. His efforts also allowed Youngstrom’s ultimate wishes as an organ donor to be met. Seven recipients received organs from Youngstrom, and 100 other individuals were tissue recipients. If not for the actions of Officer Carlton, Youngstrom’s organs may not have viable for eventual transplant.
December 21, 2012: Trooper Timothy Strohmeyer, Trooper David Nazarkuk, and Corporal Kevin Campbell were dispatched to reports of a male on a shooting spree in Frankstown Township, Pennsylvania. En route to the scene in separate vehicles, Strohmeyer and Nazaruk passed the shooting suspect, Jeffery Lee Michael, who fired shots at both cruisers. Strohmeyer immediately turned around and pursued the suspect vehicle. Nazaruk, who had sustained facial injuries from shrapnel and glass fragments, briefly stopped to retrieve a patrol rifle from his trunk before engaging in the pursuit. Corporal Campbell, also en route from the opposite direction, saw the suspect heading his way. Michael intentionally swerved into Campbell’s lane, hitting his cruiser head-on. The impact disabled both vehicles and jammed the patrol vehicle’s driver’s side door, making it difficult for Campbell to exit. Campbell, who was unaware that Strohmeyer was about drive into the rear of the suspect’s truck, drew his service weapon in anticipation of being approached by the suspect. Strohmeyer’s decision to ram his cruiser into the suspect’s truck diverted his attention from Campbell. The suspect exited his disabled vehicle, charging Strohmeyer’s cruiser and firing as he approached. Strohmeyer, who was wearing his issued body armor, was struck in the lower chest area and wrist and sustained facial injuries from bullet fragments. He was able to return fire, mortally wounding the suspect. The exemplary actions of Trooper Strohmeyer, along with those of Trooper Nazaruk and Corporal Campbell, exhibit the highest standards held by the Pennsylvania State Police. The officers, while injured, engaged the suspect and terminated any additional threat to the lives of other persons in the community.
March 20, 2012: Trooper David W. Crank initiated a traffic stop of a Ford Expedition for following another vehicle too closely. Upon contact with the vehicle occupants, Crank detected a strong odor of marijuana and observed the front seat passenger behaving suspiciously. Crank asked the female driver to exit the vehicle and escorted her to his patrol vehicle. He then returned to the Expedition to obtain identification from the three other passengers, who denied having such on their person. Due to the circumstances, he radioed Sergeant Richard J. Sanders and Corporal Jeremy S. Stewart for assistance. Upon Stewart’s arrival, the two Troopers sought to then remove the remaining passengers. One of the passengers failed to comply with Crank’s order to exit the vehicle, locked the door, and was observed reaching between the center console and passenger seat. Crank alerted Stewart of the suspect’s actions and drew his service pistol, but Stewart, unable to see inside the vehicle due to dark window tinting, opened the driver’s side door and was shot in the neck. After falling to the ground, Stewart was able to get back up, return fire, and retreat to a position of safety. Crank, also fearing for his life and the life of Stewart, fired his service pistol at the suspect until the threat was diminished. The suspect was killed, and the other three occupants were charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer and attempted murder. Trooper Crank’s heroic actions that day exemplify the bravery and professionalism of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It is also noteworthy that Trooper Crank was involved in two other traffic stops in 2012 which both resulted in the seizure in substantial amounts of marijuana intended for distribution.
Dan Morck is an eleven-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police and since 2009 has served as a detective for the Post 2 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. Since joining this unit, Morck has apprehended numerous child pornography and sex abuse offenders. His training has consisted of online child exploitation investigations, Peer-to-Peer investigations, computer investigations, and the identification and seizure of digital evidence. He has developed specialized skills and an intense determination to locate and apprehend these offenders. He is sought after by other posts and other agencies because of his knowledge and expertise in the field.Throughout 2012, Detective Morck has worked tirelessly on numerous cases to combat child pornography and sex offenders. He has actively worked with the Kentucky State Police Child Protection Service (CPS) to query observed IP addresses in Kentucky that had been sharing child exploitation files over the internet. The digital evidence obtained through these efforts has resulted in child pornography charges against a number of individuals living and working in proximity to young children. Also, in July 2012, Detective Morck was involved in the effort to track down the stolen badge and weapon belonging to another member of the Kentucky State Police. Detective Morck’s accomplishments during the previous year demonstrate that he is attuned to the mission of the Kentucky State Police and is cognizant of the needs of his community and the citizens of Kentucky. He epitomizes the word Trooper and is deserving nominee for this award.
For more information, contact Michael Wagers.