Meet the 2023 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Finalists!

Meet the 2023 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Finalists!

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Meet the 2023 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Finalists!

Each year the 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. 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.
 
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 regional finalists are: 

Trooper Andrew Tuttle, Oregon State Police, 2023 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Finalist Trooper Andrew Tuttle
Oregon State Police
IACP State and Provincial Police Division - Mountain Pacific Region

On the morning of April 10, 2023, Trooper Tuttle noticed an abundance of traffic building up on Interstate 5. Congestion started as a semitruck and line of vehicles took up two lanes with no movement, and a vehicle was left abandoned on the shoulder. Upon further observation, Trooper Tuttle then noticed an individual pointing a handgun at one of the stopped motorists in an effort to carjack their vehicle off the busy highway. Despite his efforts, the suspect was unsuccessful and made his way to other vehicles eventually setting his sights on the stopped semitruck. 

As Trooper Tuttle noticed his target shift to the truck, he activated his lights and sirens and the suspect responded by taking off on foot. Trooper Tuttle followed the suspect through an area off the highway, thick with vegetation in a foot pursuit made much more complicated by heavy rain and low visibility. Though the weather and terrain made it difficult, Trooper Tuttle managed to catch up to the suspect.

After the suspect fired his handgun at Trooper Tuttle, he returned fire as bullets hit the ground and water around him. A bullet grazed Trooper Tuttle’s arm and while radioing for backup, he retreated to his patrol car to better protect himself from the continuing gunfire. The shooting went on long enough for Trooper Tuttle to reload his weapon three times, and after firing 11 additional rounds, the suspect went down. Trooper Tuttle’s swift action and willingness to protect those driving on Interstate 5 that morning showed his selflessness and saved countless lives.


Trooper Michelle Archer, Vermont State Police, 2023 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Finalist Trooper Michelle Archer 
Vermont State Police 
IACP State and Provincial Police Division - North Atlantic Region

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Sunday, December 17, 2023, the Vermont State Police received a report via 911 that an 8-year-old girl and her 6-year-old sister had fallen through the ice while playing on a pond at their neighbor’s house. The 80-year-old homeowner was able to rescue the 6-year-old, who had fallen through close to shore, but the 8-year-old was in the middle of the pond. By chance, Trooper Archer was on patrol nearby and arrived on scene less than four minutes later. Upon arriving, Trooper Archer grabbed a department-issued throw rope and flotation device from her cruiser; ran to the pond; removed her duty belt; and without hesitation, entered the near-freezing water. 

Trooper Archer swam into deeper water, estimated at 8 feet, until she reached the child. Trooper Archer secured the victim and swam back to shore and prepared to perform CPR, as the girl initially showed no signs of life; moments later, the girl began to moan. Trooper Keith Cote arrived on scene just as Trooper Archer was emerging from the water. He ran through the snow from his cruiser to assist. Once Trooper Cote got to Trooper Archer and the girl, he immediately carried her to an ambulance that was staged in the driveway. Trooper Cote also recognized the dangerous situation facing Trooper Archer, whose uniform was saturated in 30-degree weather and encouraged her to quickly change clothes. However, Trooper Archer’s focus remained solely on the victims. The children were transferred to the hospital for treatment and have since made a full recovery. Both were able to be home with their family in time for Christmas. 


Provincial Constable Marc Lauzon, Ontario Provincial Police, 2023 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Finalist Provincial Constable Marc Lauzon
Ontario Provincial Police
IACP State and Provincial Police Division - North Central Region

On May 11, 2023, Provincial Constable Lauzon and two other officers responded to a call for shots fired. They were concerned the subject was in mental distress and at risk of harming himself. Approaching the dark and quiet house, not knowing what they were facing, officers conducted a perimeter search, knocked on the door, and announced their presence. They entered the house expecting to provide primary care to the subject. Instead, they were ambushed. Multiple shots rang out in quick succession, striking Constable Lauzon and his partner. Grievously wounded, Constable Lauzon retreated from the house, returned fire, and then quickly realized his partner was still inside. Resisting the instinct to flee, and despite his terrible injuries, Constable Lauzon bravely reentered the home to protect and rescue his partner, who was on the floor dying. The subject opened fire repeatedly as Constable Lauzon covered the front door to protect responding officers and paramedics who were coming to assist them. In trying to save a life, Provincial Constable Lauzon suffered life-altering injuries and courageously protected his dying partner. His recovery is a story of resilience, strength, and determination. 


Trooper Steven Turner, Florida Highway Patrol, 2023 IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Finalist Trooper Steven Turner
Florida Highway Patrol 
IACP State and Provincial Police Division - Southern Region

On February 4, 2023, Trooper Turner responded to the Interstate 75 and Overpass Road area in Pasco County, Florida, regarding an active pursuit of burglary suspects driving a stolen Ford F-250. During the pursuit, one of the suspects discharged a firearm at passing motorists, including a fully loaded fuel tanker, placing not only responding troopers in harm’s way but also innocent motorists. Trooper Turner engaged in the pursuit after locating the suspects traveling south. As the suspects exited the interstate, Trooper Turner successfully initiated the Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT), rendering the suspect’s vehicle inoperative. Both suspects exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Trooper Turner fearlessly gave chase to one of the suspects into a heavily wooded area, knowing he had previously discharged a firearm. As Trooper Turner attempted to apprehend the suspect, he displayed a firearm and shot Trooper Turner, striking him in the abdomen.

Trooper Turner returned fire, neutralizing the deadly threat. Trooper Turner retreated from the wooded area where responding troopers rendered aid to his gunshot wound, and he was transported via air ambulance to a trauma center for life-threatening injuries. Trooper Turner returned to full duty in June 2023, displaying the highest level of dedication to the citizens and visitors of Florida. Trooper Turner exhibited bravery, gallantry, and courage by engaging in a dangerous pursuit of armed felons, ultimately resulting in deadly gunfire.


IACP and Motorola Solutions look forward to honoring the finalists on March 14th from 6pm-9pm at the 2024 Division Midyear in San Antonio, Texas. To learn more about the 2024 Division Midyear, visit our Division Midyear webpage

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