There were 20 active employees of the Indiana State Police Department, eight civilians and three Indiana State Police retirees honored at the ceremony.
The idea for this event was conceived by Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell, Ph.D.
Putnamville District Automotive Mechanic II Mike Klein was awarded the Indiana State Police Meritorious Service Award for his diagnostic and mechanical service ability on a daily basis, as well as throughout the year. In particular, his diagnosis and immediate repair of a trooper's police commission on Aug. 19, 2009 that was above and beyond a routine service issue. This award is the second Meritorious Service Award that mechanic Klein has received in his 13-year career with the state police.
Trooper Fitzgerald ran down the embankment and observed the female in the water moving downstream. He further observed that she was struggling to keep her head above the rushing waters. Fitzgerald, without hesitation, removed his shoes, gun belt, shirt and ballistic vest and entered the water. As he did so, it appeared the female had given up and was floating face down in the water. Fitzgerald was able to secure the female and roll her over to facilitate breathing. Fitzgerald pulled the girl from the water and walked her to the shore for further treatment from emergency personnel.
Fitzgerald, a 10-year veteran, has since been promoted to the rank of sergeant and now serves as a Crime Scene Investigator in the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division, assigned to the Putnamville District. Fitzgerald is a past three-time DUI award winner and a recipient of the W. Kevin Artz Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, presented by the Terre Haute Breakfast Optimist.