WASHINGTON, DC — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) is proud to announce the selection of Trooper Kevin R. Caldwell of the Michigan State Police as its Officer of the Month for June 2010.
On May 22, 2009, Trooper Caldwell was off-duty traveling behind a patrol car driven by an Allen Park (MI) Police officer. Hearing repeated shotgun blasts, the Allen Park officer turned his vehicle around and responded to the direction of the gunfire. Trooper Caldwell, armed with his departmental .40 caliber weapon, also turned around to respond to the area of the gunfire.
As the two officers entered a residential street, gunfire erupted from a nearby home. The active shooter began firing multiple rounds toward the officers’ position. Trooper Caldwell saw the Allen Park officer being shot several times. Despite the hail of bullets around him, Trooper Caldwell moved the wounded officer behind a cement wall where he could assess the injuries. Noting that the officer was shot several times, Trooper Caldwell immediately rendered first aid to treat his wounds until another officer arrived to transport the injured officer to a nearby hospital.
As the gunman continued firing, Trooper Caldwell commandeered the wounded officer’s AR-15 duty rifle, and took up position behind the engine block of his personal vehicle. The trooper was concerned the suspect would leave his residence and start shooting innocent civilians. Additional officers soon arrived, including an emergency response team.
Trooper Caldwell remained in the inner perimeter of this active shooting incident for nearly three hours. During that time the suspect fired more than 200 rounds, some of which struck only feet away from Trooper Caldwell’s position. After the shooting stopped, the gunman was found dead inside of the residence.
“Trooper Caldwell’s willingness to involve himself in this life-threatening situation, while off-duty without the advantages of safety equipment such as body armor, communications and extra ammo, and to aid another law enforcement officer unknown to him, reflects greatly upon himself and the Michigan State Police,” said Peter C. Munoz, Director of the Michigan State Police at the time of the incident and now U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Michigan. “Had Trooper Caldwell not acted decisively, without regard for his own personal safety, to provide backup to the Allen Park officer and immediately administer first aid to him, this incident may have concluded with much more tragic consequences,” he added.
Trooper Caldwell also received the Michigan State Police Bravery Award, one of his department’s highest honors, for his actions in the May 2009 incident. That was just the latest recognition for the 11-year law enforcement veteran. He was named the 2010 Trooper of the Year for the First District and also has received Lifesaving Awards from both the Michigan State Police and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private, 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.
Trooper Caldwell, along with the other Officers of the Month for 2010, will be honored at a special awards luncheon in Washington, DC, in May 2011 during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s 2012 calendar.