Indianapolis-The Indiana State Police recognized over 80 Indiana State Police employees for some form of outstanding service at the annual awards ceremony held at the Indianapolis State Police Post this morning. Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell issued the awards that included Commendations, Meritorious Service, Combat Action, Lifesaving, Silver Star for Heroism and Trooper of the Year.
Trooper Donald Howard was selected as the Indianapolis District Trooper of the Year. Trooper Howard's all around enforcement efforts and outstanding overall performance for 2007 earned him the award. He is a 13 year veteran of the Indiana State Police. Trooper Howard is assigned patrol responsibilities in Marion County.
Troopers Brent Lykins and Shea Relifordwas given the Departments Meritorious Service Award. On April 8, 2007 calls of a wrong-way driver flooded the state police dispatch center in Indianapolis.
The wrong way driver entered I-465 at Allisonville Road and was driving east in the westbound lanes.
The wrong way driver didn't stop until a horrific head-on crash with a Pontiac van that had a total of six people in the van. While the impact of the crash immediately killed the wrong way driver and the driver of the van, it left the five other occupants of the van - ranging in age from 16 to 21 - seriously injured. Further complicating this tragic event was the fact that the impact of the crash caused the van to roll onto the passenger side and catch fire. As Troopers Lykins and Reliford arrived good Samaritans were working to rescue the occupants of the van. Tpr. Lykins used his fire extinguisher to try and control the fire as Tpr. Reliford assisted the good Samaritans with the rescue. Ultimately all but one of the surviving occupants was removed from the vehicle. Now with no more fire extinguishers at hand the vehicle continued to burn as the last victim was trapped due to his legs being pinned in the wreckage. In an effort to save this victim Tpr. Lykins used his baton to break out the back windshield and with help from Tpr. Reliford started removing luggage. Tpr. Lykins then crawled into the burning vehicle
and worked to release the trapped victim by using a pocket knife to cut away the victim's pant legs and then lifted and pulled the young man towards the rear of the vehicle and out to safety. The selfless acts of the good Samaritans and Troopers Lykins and Reliford reduced the opportunity of additional injuries and deaths. Trooper Lykins is a two year veteran of the Indiana State Police and is assigned to the Seymour District. Trooper Reliford is a two year veteran of the Indiana State Police and is assigned to the Indianapolis District.
Troopers Kyle Freeman and Ahmad Hafezreceived awardsin recognition for their outstanding effort toward removing impaired drivers off Indiana highways. In 5th Place statewide with 84 DUI arrests was Senior Trooper Ahmad Hafez. In 2nd place statewide with 102 DUI arrests was Trooper Kyle Freeman. Trooper Freeman was also recognized and given an award for the top DUI arrests for the Indianapolis District. Trooper Freeman is an eight year veteran of the Indiana State Police assigned patrol responsibilities in Marion County. Senior Trooper Hafez is a 14 year veteran of the Indiana State Police assigned patrol responsibilities in Marion County.
Master Trooper Kevin Fisherof the Sellersburg District was named the 2007 Indiana State Police Trooper of the Year: This award is presented in recognition for the highest level of service, dedication and professionalism, which all members of the department should strive to emulate when serving the citizens of this state as a member of the Indiana State Police. Master Trooper Fisher joined the Indiana State Police in December of 1980. He is MCSAP certified and inspected 601 commercial motor vehicles in 2007. Also in 2007 he made 1,829 traffic arrests, 889 truck arrests, issued 437 warnings, had 156 police services and investigated 42 crashes that resulted in 10 crash arrests. He also made 36 criminal arrests of which 14 were for felonies and he made three DUI arrests - all while assigned to the 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. day shift at the Sellersburg District.
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