For immediate release: Thursday, July 19, 2012
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DUFFY HONORS NEW YORK STATE’S POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Retired State Trooper Gerald Segur receives award for saving a fellow trooper from harm
Six officers from five agencies across New York State to receive
Certificates of Exceptional Valor for their actions
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy today presented retired New York State Trooper Gerald S. Segur with New York State’s Police Officer of the Year Award for saving from harm a fellow trooper who encountered an intoxicated, shotgun-wielding motorist in Tioga County. Less than an hour before, the motorist had menaced another trooper with the same weapon.
“As a retired police officer and chief, I know first-hand how quickly a day on the job can go from routine to dangerous,” said Lieutenant Governor Duffy. “As Trooper Segur’s actions show, the ability to react in a split-second can mean the difference between safety or harm, life or death. I applaud his courage, dedication and service, and it is with great pride that I present this award today.”
New York’s Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Elizabeth Glazer said, “Today, we recognize Trooper Segur for his quick thinking and bravery as he came to aid of a fellow trooper whose life was in danger. By honoring him, we also highlight the selfless work done across this state every day by police officers who are sworn to serve and protect their communities.”
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Trooper Segur willingly placed himself in a dangerous situation to protect the life of a fellow trooper. His courage and dedication to public service is a testament to the men and women of the New York State Police who place themselves in harm’s way each day to fight crime, protect the innocent, and ensure the safety and security of all New Yorkers. I congratulate Trooper Segur on a job well done.”
Lt. Governor Duffy, joined by Superintendent D’Amico, State Police Troop E Commander Major Mark Koss and Michael C. Green, executive deputy commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), presented the 2011 Police Officer of the Year Award to Trooper Segur during a ceremony this afternoon at Big Flats Town Hall, in front of the trooper’s family, friends and State Police colleagues, as well as local and state elected leaders and law enforcement officials from Chemung County.
On the evening of March 26, 2011, Chemung County 9-1-1 broadcasted an alert to all units that a trooper in Tioga County had been menaced with a shotgun by an intoxicated motorist. A short while later, Trooper Jeffrey M. Grebleski advised 9-1-1 that he was behind the suspect’s vehicle, which was heading north on Route 34 in the town of Barton, Tioga County. Trooper Segur saw his colleague and the suspect’s vehicle, and began following both.
Trooper Grebleski activated his emergency lights to stop the suspect’s vehicle as it continued north on Route 34, and Trooper Segur pulled alongside Trooper Grebleski, driving north in the southbound lane. The suspect initially refused to stop for Trooper Grebleski, and pointed the barrel of a shotgun out the driver’s side window. A few minutes later, the suspect slowed his vehicle and came to an abrupt stop in the middle of the northbound lane.
Trooper Grebleski stopped behind the suspect, but was unable to exit his patrol vehicle as the suspect, who had exited his vehicle, advanced toward him with the shotgun drawn. Trooper Grebleski ducked below the dash of his patrol vehicle. He attempted to place his vehicle in reverse to retreat from the gunman but placed the vehicle in neutral and could not move.
Trooper Segur, realizing that Trooper Grebleski was in danger, exited his patrol vehicle, drew his pistol and fired five rounds at the suspect, striking him several times and knocking him to the ground. The suspect was disabled less than a yard from the front bumper of Trooper Grebleski’s patrol vehicle. Neither officer was injured.
The suspect, identified as Joel Shelley, is currently serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted in Tioga County of menacing, weapon possession and DWI, among other charges. Trooper Segur retired from Troop E in May 2012, after serving nearly 24 years with the State Police.
DCJS Executive Deputy Commissioner Green, who serves as chair of the Police Officer of the Year Award selection committee, said, “At DCJS, our staff members work hard to support police officers who put their lives on the line regularly to protect their communities and our state. We are pleased and proud to recognize the exceptional work of Trooper Segur. His actions are an outstanding example of composure under pressure and excellent police work.”
The Police Officer of the Year Award was created in 1983 to recognize a single police officer, or team of officers, for an exceptional act of valor, symbolizing the service of police in New York State. In addition to Trooper Segur, six officers from five law enforcement agencies also will be recognized for contributions to their communities in 2011 and will receive Certificates of Exceptional Valor from the Governor. Those officers are as follows:
- Officer Gregory Mulligan of the Albany Police Department – During a traffic stop on Dec. 29, 2011, Officer Mulligan and Officer Jason Kelly recognized that an individual in the vehicle was sought for questioning about a recent home invasion in the city, and also wanted by the New York State Parole Absconder Unit. After police ordered him to leave the vehicle, the individual displayed a loaded handgun and began fighting with Officer Kelly. As the individual began to point the gun at Officer Kelly, Officer Mulligan reacted, shooting and killing the man.
- Deputy James J. Randall of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office – On May 21, 2011, Deputy Randall was responding to a double stabbing and kidnapping in the village of Cape Vincent. The suspect reportedly left the scene in a red sedan of unknown make or model. As he made his way to the call, Deputy Randall observed a red sedan pass him, heading in the opposite direction. He deactivated his emergency lights, turned around and began following the vehicle as he called in the plate number. After verifying that the vehicle was being sought in connection with the stabbing/kidnapping call, Deputy Randall activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The operator of the red sedan began to travel at high speed, eventually crashing off the road. Deputy Randall approached the vehicle with his gun drawn, handcuffed the unconscious suspect and extricated the kidnapped 11-month-old child from the vehicle. The child was uninjured.
- Deputies Jonathan E. Andres and Shawn P. Grapes of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office – At 1:30 a.m. on July 18, 2011, Niagara County Deputy Allen Gerhardt was following Niagara County Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Andres in the town of Porter as they responded in their patrol vehicles to assist a fellow Niagara County deputy sheriff with a foot pursuit of a fleeing suspect. Deputy Gerhardt lost control of his vehicle, which slid sideways into a guard rail. The guard rail penetrated the passenger side door of the vehicle and continued through the vehicle’s front passage compartment, striking Deputy Gerhardt and amputating his right leg at the knee and severing his left leg at the knee. Deputy Andres didn’t see the crash, but realized that Deputy Gerhardt’s vehicle, with emergency equipment engaged, was no longer visible. Deputy Andres received a radio transmission there was a motor vehicle accident nearby, and was unable to make radio contact with Deputy Gerhardt. Deputy Andres arrived at the crash scene and found Deputy Gerhardt severely injured inside the badly damaged vehicle. Immediately, Deputy Andres called for medical assistance and backup, and then removed his duty belt and used it as a makeshift tourniquet, applying it to Deputy Gerhardt’s right leg. Deputy Grapes, who had arrived at the scene, attempted to apply a tourniquet to Deputy Gerhardt’s left leg, but the damage to the vehicle made it impossible. As Deputy Gerhardt became unconscious and unresponsive, Deputies Andres and Grapes removed him from the vehicle, all the while keeping pressure on the right leg tourniquet and eventually being able to do the same to his left leg. As a result, Deputy Gerhardt regained consciousness; his legs were lost but his life was saved.
- Deputy Kurt B. Wyman of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office – Deputy Wyman, along with other members of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, responded to domestic dispute turned armed/barricaded subject call in the town of Augusta at 8 p.m. on June 6, 2011. For more than six hours, Deputy Wyman and fellow deputies negotiated with the suspect, attempting to convince him to surrender. Shortly after 2 a.m., Sheriff’s deputies attempted to take the individual into custody. He opened fire, striking and killing Deputy Wyman, whose colleagues then fired upon the suspect, hitting him five times. The suspect survived, and has since been convicted of several charges, including aggravated murder in connection with Deputy Wyman’s death.
- Technical Sergeant Nathan R. Leonard of SUNY Oneonta Police – On Nov. 10, 2011, at 6 p.m., an 81-year-old man who was on the SUNY Oneonta campus to attend a lecture accidently drove his car into the Hunt Union College Pond. Sgt. Leonard arrived on the scene, saw the partially submerged car and could hear the occupant tapping and yelling for help. The sergeant removed his gear and swam in the freezing water out to the car, smashing a submerged rear window and pulling the driver out and to the shore to safety.
Each year, DCJS coordinates the work of the Police Officer of the Year Selection Committee, which reviews nominations submitted by New York State law enforcement agencies. Nominees must be sworn police officers employed within New York State who have performed an act of exceptional valor during the year.
The Police Officer of the Year selection committee is composed of the following members: the Commissioner of Division of Criminal Justice Services; the Superintendent of the New York State Police; Counsel and Executive Director of the State Sheriffs’ Association; Executive Director of the State Association of Chiefs of Police; President of the Police Conference of New York; President of the New York State Association of Police Benevolent Association; and President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including collection and analysis of statewide crime data; operation of the DNA databank and criminal fingerprint files; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry and a toll-free telephone number (1-800-262-3257) that allows anyone to research the status of an offender.