Profiles in Courage

When an officer is injured, it impacts not only the officer but a family, an agency, and a community. 

Since announcing our new vision – traumatically injured law enforcement officers will never feel abandoned – the IACP Foundation has been working with our partners to help support these officers and their families. From new scholarship opportunities to cash grants to help pay for expenses, the IACP Foundation is proud to support these heroes. 


OFFICER JOHN ADSIT: Building a New Career to Help Other Injured Officers

IACP Foundation Thrive Scholarship Recipient, provided by University of Phoenix

 

Agency: Denver, Colorado, Police Department

Date of Injury: December 2014

Tenure on the Force: 9 years

Incident: Hit by car while serving as bicycle escort for student protest

Current Status: Medically retired on May 20, 2017

 

Officer John Adsit loved being part of the Bicycle Patrol Unit for the Denver Police Department – even in cold weather. On December 3, 2014, he agreed to serve as part of a team of bicycle patrol officers who would be escorting a student protest. A colleague suggested he try one of the agency’s new, stronger helmets – a decision that probably saved his life.

During the protest, a driver suffering from a seizure lost control of his car and slammed into four bicycle patrol officers while miraculously missing the students. While three of the officers suffered minor injuries, Officer Adsit suffered severe injuries while trapped under the moving vehicle, which dragged him nearly half a block.

Officer Adsit’s injuries were so extensive that first responders and the hospital team were not sure he would survive. After 11 surgeries to repair a cracked pelvis, crushed ribs, a punctured lung, severed artery in his leg, and a broken femur (but no head injuries thanks to the new helmet), he walked out of a Denver hospital just over two months later. Officer Adsit’s perseverance and strength drive him today through his rehabilitation and while he cannot repay those who helped him, he knows he can pay it forward.

In June 2016, Officer Adsit was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Phoenix where he is now building his skills in order to be able to better help other injured officers in Colorado through his new foundation – Adsit Strong. His passion and commitment will result in stronger outcomes for injured officers across the state and exemplify the values of the University of Phoenix to rise above challenges.

 
   

 

OFFICER MARTY DULWORTH: Never Give Up

Injured Officer Grant Recipient, provided by OnStar

 

Agency: Anderson, Indiana, Police Department

Date of Injury: July 26, 2012

Tenure on the Force: X years

Incident: Shot after responding to officer down call

Current Status: Returned to agency as K-9 trainer

While reporting to a call of shots fired and an officer down from a neighboring agency, Officer Dulworth arrived on the scene with his K-9 partner Kilo. Two minutes after getting out of his vehicle, Kilo was shot and killed and Officer Dulworth was shot twice with an AK-47 by the suspect. One round took most of his lower left ankle and foot off while the other shot went through is right leg. Officers on the scene returned fire allowing Officer Dulworth to crawl to safety. Unfortunately, the scene was too dangerous for medics to get him. Officer Dulworth’s brother, an officer in another jurisdiction, heard that it was his brother who had been shot and immediately headed to the scene, even though he was off-duty. There, his brother reached the injured Officer Dulworth through the gunfire, placed a tourniquet on his leg and drove his brother out of the scene.

Officer Dulworth was taken by helicopter to Indianapolis where he underwent multiple surgeries in an attempt to save his leg. After several months, his left leg had to be amputated. Determined to return to his job, Officer Dulworth trained and worked hard to rebuild his life. He returned to full duty with no restrictions as an amputee and now works as a K-9 trainer. He can also sometimes be seen working security for Indianapolis Colts games in shorts with his prosthetic leg proudly visible.

In October 2016, Officer Dulworth received a grant from OnStar which will help him remodel his bathroom in order to make it easier for him to get around. He is dedicated to being a strong role model to his children – teaching them to never give up or quit. 

 

 

DEPUTY RUBEN GARCIA: Honoring a Big Heart

Injured Officer Grant Recipient, provided by OnStar

Agency: Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Office

Date of Injury: January 7, 2013

Tenure on the Force: 29 years

Incident: Shot during traffic stop

Current Status: Medically retired from agency

 

Deputy Garcia was called to a residence where a woman said her ex-boyfriend had a gun and was threatening to kill them both. Upon arrival, the ex-boyfriend had fled but Deputy Garcia was able to get a description of the suspect’s truck. A short while later, Deputy Garcia spotted the truck and conducted a traffic stop. The suspect pulled into a gas station and when Deputy Garcia approached the car, the suspect shot Garcia and took off.

               

Upon arriving to the scene, police officers and firefighters found Deputy Garcia shot in the face and chest but alive thanks to the help of a good Samaritan on the scene. He was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. The suspect was later found and died in a gun battle with officers.

              

After his initial recover in the ICU, Deputy Garcia married his sweetheart of more than 20 years but has faced challenges. Since the incident, Deputy Garcia has had over 69 surgeries to help repair the damage and medically retired from the job he loved.

 

In October 2016, Deputy Garcia received a grant from OnStar which will help him with his on-going medical bills and to help pay his daughter’s college expenses. He was surprised and touched that “anyone remembered me” but deputies who worked with Garcia say he has the biggest heart in the world and they still miss working with him every day.   

 

 

OFFICER TIMOTHY JONES: Continuing His Fight

Injured Officer Grant Recipient, provided by OnStar

 

Agency: Park Forest, Illinois, Police Department

Date of Injury: March 2016

Tenure on the Force: 9 months

Incident: Shot by suspect during in-progress burglary

Current Status: Rehab facility

 

On the morning of March 19, 2016, Officer Timothy Jones was taking a stolen motor vehicle report when he heard that the stolen vehicle was found at another local residence in which an in-progress burglary was reported. He immediately went to assist the other officers, who had surrounded the house as he arrived. Approaching one of the windows, Officer Jones noticed the suspect enter the room near him and notified other officers via radio. Suddenly, the suspect jumped out of the window where Officer Jones was standing and a fight ensued. During the altercation, the suspect was able to grab one of the two stolen firearms he was carrying and shot Officer Jones twice - one round hit his head, and the other hit the side of his face and lodged into his chest. Somehow, after being shot, Officer Jones was able to remove his weapon and shoot the suspect in the hip at point blank range. As the suspect attempted to flee, he continued to shoot in the direction of the critically-wounded Officer Jones as well as other officers. Because of the injury from Officer Jones’ shot, the suspect was unable to flee rapidly and was killed during a shootout with the other responding officers.

Officer Jones was airlifted to a trauma center where he underwent lifesaving surgery but was not given 24 hours to live. The doctors told his family and fellow officers that if he did survive, he would never regain consciousness. Miraculously, Officer Jones has survived his devastating wounds and is now in a rehab facility in Chicago. While he has a long road ahead, he continues to improve and defy the odds every day.

In October, 2016, Officer Jones was awarded a grant from OnStar to help with his future expenses and was named a finalist for the 2016 IACP/Target Police Officer of the Year award for his heroism and dedication that fateful March day. His father, Chief William Jones of the Country Club, Illinois, Police Department says that both honors are helping inspire his son during the harder days and that the entire family is grateful for all of the support they are receiving.  

 

 

OFFICER PETER LABOY: A New Kind of Superman

Injured Officer Grant Recipient, provided by OnStar

 

Agency: Alexandria, Virginia, Police Department

Date of Injury: February 27, 2013

Tenure on the Force: 18 years

Incident: Shot in head during traffic stop

Current Status: Medically Retired from Agency

 

On the afternoon of February 27, 2013, Officer Peter Laboy was working his regular motorcycle patrol shift when a call came in about a man harassing a female employee at a local store. After the man left the store, a lookout call was made for the cab he was driving. Officer Laboy was the first to spot the cab and pulled it over near an elementary school. As he was walking towards the cab, the suspect shot Officer Laboy in the head and immediately took off. At the time of the shooting, school was in session and children were on the playground. Emergency personnel arrived immediately to help Officer Laboy who was flown to a local trauma hospital where he spent more than two months with a traumatic brain injury. The doctors said it was a miracle he survived.

When he was discharged home, he had to wear a protective helmet for another two months before he had metal plates implanted into his head. His helmet proudly displayed the Superman logo. While he returned to work after 18 months, it was challenging due to the traumatic brain injury so he medically retired shortly thereafter. His shooter was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to a mental institution, which he could leave in the near future.

In October 2016, Officer Laboy received a grant from OnStar which will help his family, including his four sons, better plan for the future. He continues to be active and visible in his community including helping volunteer at the Alexandria Police’s Citizens Academy. 

 

 

TERON MERRIWEATHER: Shooting for the Stars

Hubie Perez Memorial Scholarship Recipient, provided by LexisNexis

Law Enforcement Connection: Son of Detective 1st Class Tommy L. Merriweather

Agency: New York, New York, Police Department

Date of Injury: September 2001

Tenure on the Force: 20 years

Incident: Contracted cancer as a result of rescue and recovery operations after the 9/11 terrorist attacks

Current Status: Retired but died of his injuries on January 21, 2013

Detective 1st Class Tommy Merriweather has always been an inspiration to his youngest son, Teron. As a member of the New York Police Department, Detective Merriweather worked hard for the family and city he loved. After the terror attacks of 9/11, he logged many hours at the Staten Island Landfill, sorting through the remains of the World Trade Center victims. As a result of that work, he contracted pancreatic cancer which caused his death in 2013 at the age of 50.

During his father’s illness, Teron would accompany his dad to chemotherapy and MRI appointments and they discussed what Teron would like to do when he graduated from high school. Teron was intrigued with radiology as he saw the medical staff work tirelessly to help his father. When Teron mentioned he wasn’t sure if he wanted to a doctor of radiology or a technician, his father told him to “shoot for the stars because if I fell short I would land on a moon”.

Before his father passed away, Teron began taking steps to prepare himself for medical school while still in high school. He enrolled in college courses while still in high school, attended a STEM program for high school students at Stony Brook University, and shadowed doctors at Southside Hospital on Long Island. He knew he needed excellent grades, strong work habits, and fierce motivation to meet his goals.

As a sophomore at St. John’s University, Teron was awarded the Hubie Perez Memorial Scholarship. Inspired by another former NYPD officer, the Hubie Perez Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an individual who embodies Hubie’s passion for creating safer and better communities. LexisNexis and the IACP Foundation were proud to select Teron in honor of his father and Hubie – two dedicated law enforcement officers who inspire us all.  

 

 

CORPORAL NICK TULLIER: Weathering More than One Storm

Agency: East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sheriff’s Office

Date of Injury: July 17, 2016

Tenure on the Force: 18 years

Incident: Shot in head during ambush

Current Status: Transferred to rehab facility in Houston on November 16

 

On Sunday, July 17, officers and deputies from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, law enforcement agencies were responding to a call about a suspicious person walking down a road with an assault rifle. The suspect immediately opened fire on the first officers who arrived at the scene, killing three of them in an ambush-style attack.

Corporal Nick Tullier heard the “officer down” call and immediately headed to the scene. Upon arriving, he stopped to check a suspicious vehicle, which turned out to be the suspect’s car, when the suspect ambushed Corporal Tullier – shooting him multiple times in the head, abdomen, and shoulder. As a result, he has suffered a traumatic brain injury and massive abdominal injuries. In addition to Corporal Tullier’s wounding and the three officers being killed, the suspect was able to wound two other officers before being killed by a SWAT team sniper.

Corporal Tullier was taken to the hospital immediately in grave condition where doctors feared he would not live 24 hours. After more than a dozen surgeries, he was still in a coma when tragedy struck again for this family – his parents lost their home in the severe flooding that hit Louisiana in September. But the entire family continued to remain focused on one thing – helping Corporal Tullier get better. After 122 days in the hospital in Baton Rouge, Corporal Tullier was flown to a rehab facility on November 16, 2016, in Houston to continue to his recovery. His parents and fiancé have joined him there.

In October 2016, Corporal Tullier received a grant from OnStar which his family will likely use to support Corporal Tullier’s son’s education, additional medical bills, and any living expenses that may be incurred during his recovery phase. While Corporal Tullier is fighting to recover, his family remains optimistic that he will continue to defy all the odds. 

 

The IACP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established to solicit, receive, administer and expend funds for law enforcement related purposes. Donations may be tax deductible – please check with your personal tax advisor. Federal Tax ID #54-1576762.