Troopers receive awards

Monday, May 12, 2008

Several awards were given to Indiana State Police (ISP) Troopers and two civilians from the Putnamville district at this year's honors and recognition ceremony.

Of more than 80 people from around the state honored, Putnamville district had eight recognized.

Master Trooper David Furnas received the Trooper of the District award. Furnas transferred to the Putnamville district from the Seymour district in 1994.

Senior Trooper Patrick Etter received the Life Award for his outstanding devotion to remove impaired drivers from Indiana roadways. Life awards were presented to the trooper of each district with the highest annual total of impaired driving arrests.

Sergeant Rich Myers, Public Information Officer, said in a press release, "Every trooper that removes an impaired driver from the road does so with the knowledge they may have saved not only the impaired persons life, but also other innocent persons have been spared death and injury from the crash that was prevented by the intercession of a state police officer."

Evidence Clerk Ann Davis and Christine Schurick each received Meritorious Service Award for their work. These awards are presented to those people whose service with the department is deemed to be above and beyond normal protocol. Davis has been with the ISP for 19 years. Schurick has been with the department for over five years.

Four troopers also received the Meritorious Service Award. Master Trooper William Lux, Troopers Joseph Neil and Kurt Steinkamp and Probationary Trooper William Patterson received this award for their actions during a pursuit and standoff that occurred on I-70 in Oct. 2007.

The four troopers responded to the report of a suspect who had just shot and killed his wife in front of the couple's four young children in the lobby of a hotel in Terre Haute. The suspect fled from the scene with the children in tow.

Once the suspect was spotted headed east on I-70, a pursuit began that made its way into the Putnamville State Police's District. The suspect hit stop sticks and collided with a police vehicle before coming to a stop. It was then the police from several agencies were able to surround the vehicle and the standoff occurred.

Lux was able to engage the suspect into conversation and negotiated the release of all but one child. The final child was being held at gun point while other troopers were positioning themselves for a rescue of the child. At this same time, Watson moved into a position with his rifle to "maximize his ability to take appropriate action if the situation deteriorated."

When the suspect pointed his gun at Watson, the trooper then fired one shot that mortally wounded the suspect and Neal was able to grab the final child and take it to a safe area.

The third awards and recognition ceremony was held in Indianapolis on May 7. The event was set up by Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell. The inaugural ceremony was held on April 24, 2007.

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