Officer of the Month — July 2009
Washington, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Officer Adam E. Zielinksi of the United States Park Police as its Officer of the Month for July 2009.
Established in 1791 by President George Washington, the United States Park Police (USPP) is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the country. Providing law enforcement services to designated areas within the National Park Service, the USPP’s major deployments are in Washington, DC, New York City and San Francisco. In the nation’s capital, the agency is tasked with protecting some of the most recognizable and visited monuments and memorials in the world, while providing law enforcement services for some of the busiest roadways in the country.
In 2003, Officer Adam Zielinski joined the U.S. Park Police. Just six years into his service with the department, Officer Zielinski’s file is full of commendations and awards for lifesaving actions as well as his commitment to exceptional police work.
One shining example occurred on the evening of November 30, 2008, when USPP officers responded to the scene of a motor vehicle crash on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. One of the parties involved in the crash had sustained multiple injuries including a compound fracture of his right leg that resulted in excessive blood loss. Observing the man’s injuries, Sergeant Russell E. Fennelly immediately contacted Officer Zielinski, a Maryland certified and insured paramedic, for assistance.
Once on the scene, Officer Zielinski immediately took charge of the situation. Requesting a Hare Traction Splint from the ambulance personnel, Officer Zielinski worked to control the bleeding, treated the victim for shock, and applied the splint to the victim’s leg in order to stabilize him enough to be transported. During the surgery to repair his leg, the victim required more than six pints of blood, indicating just how close he had came to dying of blood loss.
For his efforts, Officer Zielinski received the USPP’s Lifesaving Award. The victim was so grateful that in a letter to Park Police Chief Salvatore Lauro he wrote, “I had a severe injury that would have ended my life if it wasn’t for the quick thinking of Officer Adam Zielinski. He should truly be recognized for his knowledge, bravery, quick thinking and caring for others in the community.”
This lifesaving effort was one of many heroic actions taken by Officer Zielinski during his law enforcement career. Others included jumping into the frigid waters of a creek to make sure everyone was out of an overturned vehicle; keeping a man who was under the influence of alcohol and PCP calm in order to make a peaceful arrest; and using his paramedic skills to save the life of a man in cardiac arrest before backup arrived. In nominating Officer Zielinski for the Officer of the Month Award, Sergeant Mark Schuette wrote, “Officer Zielinski consistently performs in an exemplary manner as evidenced by his numerous awards, as well as achieving the highest level evaluation in his performance appraisals for 2007 and 2008.”
As a member of the USPP, Officer Zielinski continues to serve and protect both residents and visitors in the Washington, DC area. He is also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, DC Lodge 1. Officer Zielinski is the second United States Park Police officer to be awarded the NLEOMF’s Officer of the Month Award. Officer Jeffrey Muller received the May 1997 award for diving into the Anacostia River to rescue an elderly woman trapped inside a vehicle that had rolled into the icy river.
Located in the nation’s capital, the NLEOMF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The NLEOMF Officer of the Month Program began in September 1996 and recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Officer Zielinski, along with the other Officers of the Month for 2009, will be honored at a special awards luncheon in Washington, DC, in May 2010 during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s 2011 calendar.