50 states, 50 police heroes: How cops across the US made an impact in 2018

From small acts of kindness to incredible moments of life-saving heroism, these 50 stories are just a small sample of the great work America’s finest put in every day


For more from our expert columnists on the year in policing, check out our full "2018 in Review" special coverage here

By PoliceOne Staff

Whether it’s braving a house engulfed in flames to save a life or simply buying lunch for a hungry person in need, police officers all over this country are making a difference – big and small – in the lives of countless Americans. In honor of all the great work cops have done this year (and every year), we’ve gathered our favorite moment of police heroism in 2018 from each state – just a small sample of the great work America’s finest put in every day. Share your favorite moments in the comments section.

ALABAMA

Student who walked 20 miles to work helped by officers, gets new car

A college student who walked 20 miles to work after his car broke down was gifted a new vehicle, and it all started after he was helped by a group of cops. FULL STORY


ALASKA
 

Anchorage police scale side of mountain to rescue child

Incredibly, the child didn’t incur any major injuries after being in a vehicle that had gone around 120 to 150 feet down the side of a cliff. FULL STORY


ARIZONA
 

 
A Bus Ride Home

It’s Feel Good Friday and we are highlighting one of our deputies. A call for service turned into an opportunity to help a mother and child in need. The mother and her child resorted to panhandling to get enough money to cover a bus ticket home. The deputy stepped in and assisted her with enough money to buy a ticket home and have some snacks on the road. Although our deputies see these actions as simply part of their job, we want to recognize true acts of kindness and outstanding service whenever possible. If you would like to recognize a deputy or any MCSO staff for a job well-done please share your comments with us. #FeelGoodFriday

Posted by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office on Friday, April 6, 2018

Deputy goes above and beyond to help panhandler

A stranded, struggling mother who was panhandling with her 2-year-old child was able to eat and head home thanks to a deputy. FULL STORY


ARKANSAS

LEO gifts new bike to girl who had hers stolen

"I can't believe he cared about me and my bike when he's so busy keeping everyone else safe from the bad guys," the young girl said. FULL STORY


CALIFORNIA

Woman invites officer who arrested her to college graduation

Here’s one you don’t see every day: Lt. Jim Foster was credited by Tiffany Hall for helping her turn her life around after he arrested her on drug charges. FULL STORY


COLORADO
 

Wounded Colo. cop protects bystanders after fatal OIS

A Denver officer raced after an armed robbery suspect on foot and took a bullet to the leg while protecting bystanders. FULL STORY


CONNECTICUT

Conn. cops hand out turkeys instead of tickets

"That’s what community policing is really all about — public servants serving the public," Police Chief Armando Perez said. FULL STORY


Delaware
 

Off-duty Del. officer helps stop rape at park

The officer heard a woman screaming nearby and ran to assist her. FULL STORY
 


Florida

 
Hot Car Life Saving

For the third time this year, we’re proud to spotlight one of our life-saving employees. In June Deputy Bill Dunn rescued from a hot car, a three year old girl barely clinging to life. Now that she has recovered, here’s more on why children get left behind, and some simple ways to avoid a tragedy.

Posted by Seminole County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fla. LEO saves girl trapped for 12 hours in hot car

The girl was “barely clinging to life.” FULL STORY


Georgia
 

Officers save 3-year-old boy found unresponsive in pool

"I don't consider myself a hero. I just consider myself at the right time and place," Officer David Yates said. FULL STORY


Hawaii
 

Hawaii officer named National SRO of the Year

Officer Marvin Tevaga was honored by the National Association of School Resource Officers for saving the life of a student who suffered cardiac arrest and for other actions that go beyond the expectations of the normal duties of an SRO. FULL STORY


Idaho
 

Idaho chief praises police, community response to mass stabbing of 9 people, including 6 kids

Chief Bill Bones said he was heartened by how his department managed the chaotic crime scene of the "evil" attack that left the largest number of victims in an incident in department history. FULL STORY


Illinois
 

 
School where shooter was stopped celebrates graduation

'THANK YOU, OFFICER DALLAS' On Wednesday, a student came to Dixon High School with a gun and charged into graduation practice. That student was shot and stopped by Officer Mark Dallas, who was on stage during graduation today. https://bit.ly/2Lexrvw

Posted by Fox 32 Chicago on Sunday, May 20, 2018

SRO stops a would-be mass shooter

School Resource Officer Mark Dallas put a stop to a gunman’s attack on his school before anyone was hurt, but he doesn’t consider himself a hero. FULL STORY


Indiana
 

LEOs help feed couple so desperate for food that they’d been eating dog food

When the officers arrived at the elderly couple’s home and saw their nearly empty fridge, they knew they had to help. FULL STORY


Iowa
 

 

Last night at the City Council Meeting, Officer Hotz was presented with a Lifesaving Award. She had responded to a...

Posted by Marion Police Department (Iowa) on Friday, December 7, 2018

Iowa police officer awarded for saving man suffering heart attack

Officer Nikki Hotz wasn't supposed to be working the day she responded to a call about an unresponsive man. FULL STORY


Kansas
 

 

Today Ofc. Carey was dispatched to the west side of the city to check the welfare of an elderly female. Upon arrival...

Posted by Hutchinson Police Department on Monday, May 28, 2018

Kan. officer finishes lawn mowing job for woman

A Kansas police officer mowed a woman's lawn in full uniform on Memorial Day after the person she hired didn't finish the job. FULL STORY


Kentucky
 

 

We are grateful to John Johnson and Patient Aids of Wilder for the donation of a companion scooter. On the afternoon...

Posted by Cold Spring Police Department - Kentucky on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Officer goes above and beyond for stranded disabled woman

"My life is so much richer tonight. It's not because I got a new scooter," the woman said. "I have a young man in my life who truly … he saved my life." FULL STORY


Louisiana
 

 
Bossier Deputies, Neighbor Rescue Stranded Boater and His Two Dogs

BOSSIER DEPUTIES, NEIGHBOR RESCUE STRANDED BOATER AND HIS TWO DOGS ON LAKE BISTINEAU MONDAY AFTERNOON A couple of Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputies and a very helpful neighbor rescued a man and his two dogs from Lake Bistineau Monday afternoon after the man’s boat took on water and sank. Bossier dispatchers initially received an open line 911 call at 4:17 p.m., meaning someone called, but dispatchers couldn’t hear anything on the other end of the line. A short time later, the line disconnected. Dispatchers continued to make return calls to the number, but with no success. After a few minutes of trying, dispatchers were able to connect with the man on the other end of the cell phone, and he told them that his boat sank in Lake Bistineau and to send help for him and his two dogs. A short time later, they lost all communication with the man after his cell phone got wet. Bossier deputies quickly got enroute to the man’s residence on Evangeline Drive where he originally launched his boat. They needed to act quickly since Marine Patrol units were not there yet. So they talked with a neighbor on Evangeline Drive who knew the stranded boater, and he offered to take them out to where his friend might be in the lake. They launched his pontoon boat, and less than 10 minutes later, they arrived at the place where the man was holding onto a cypress tree with his two dogs in the water. “This neighbor helped us save value rescue time by allowing to quickly launch his boat in the water,” said Sgt. Tim Wynn, since he had his boat already in the water at his dock. “He was ready to go, and we are grateful for his help.” When Sgt. Wynn, Dep. Duane Washington and the neighbor arrived where the man was in the water, Sgt. Wynn said the man had his life jacket on and “was doing everything he could to hold on to the tree and his dogs.” Only a tip of his 14-foot jon boat was sticking out of the water in the place where it was submerged some 40 to 50 yards away. The deputies and neighbor rescued the man and his dogs in the neighbor’s boat at 5:08 p.m., which was nearly an hour after the initial 911 call. When they got the man and his dogs to shore, medics checked them out, and they were fine. Bossier Marine Patrol units and Louisiana Department of Wildlife launched to recover the sunken jon boat, and they were able to bring the boat up a short time later. A Bossier Parish Fire District #2 rescue boat crew also came to the scene to assist them. “I am surely grateful for the quick response by our deputies,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “I am also equally appreciative of the Good Samaritan neighbor who volunteered to launch his boat and took us right to the spot where the man and his dogs were stranded. A man his dogs are safe tonight…that’s a good day.” (Video and stills by Dep. Duane Washington, Bossier Sheriff’s Office)

Posted by Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office on Monday, June 18, 2018

Deputies, good Samaritan rescue stranded boater and his dogs

Two deputies and a neighbor came to the rescue when a stranded boater made a series of desperate 911 calls after his boat struck a tree and sank. FULL STORY


Maine

 

Police throw birthday party for 8-year-old girl after no one shows up

The girl received a birthday card signed by the entire police department, as well as several gift cards. FULL STORY


Maryland
 

 
Baltimore Police body camera catches April murder in progress

A Baltimore Police officer was only half a block away when a suspect opened fire, killing a 29-year-old man, and injuring his grandfather. Watch as an officer run towards the gunshots and arrests the suspect. READ MORE: https://bit.ly/2y1Z606

Posted by WMAR-2 News Baltimore on Monday, June 11, 2018

Officer immediately runs toward sound of gunfire, apprehends gunman

Baltimore Police spokesperson TJ Smith said the officer was “commended for his quick and decisive action that also can be categorized as life-saving.” FULL STORY


Massachusetts
 

Officer helped others as his home burned after gas blasts

Ivan Soto's home was engulfed by flames, but the police officer was too busy helping other residents evacuate after a series of natural gas explosions to worry about his own loss – even after his bosses told him to stop working. FULL STORY


Michigan
 

Mich. deputy pulls driver from fiery car crash

The deputy was in pursuit of a speeding driver when the suspect lost control of the car and it burst into flames. FULL STORY


Minnesota
 

Officers help out 9-year-old boy’s lemonade stand after his money was stolen

A young boy whose money was stolen had his day turned around thanks to several Minnesota officers. FULL STORY


Mississippi
 

 

Officers responded to a call this morning for a busted water pipe at the home of an elderly couple. After talking with...

Posted by City of Moss Point Police Department on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Officers go above and beyond to help elderly woman in flooded house

When officers responded to a call about a busted water pipe at a home, they not only braved a spewing kitchen water pipe to turn it off, but they also stayed to clean up. FULL STORY


Missouri
 

Police, donor surprise kids whose mother was fatally shot in front of them

Three children going through the unthinkable were comforted by a group of heroes in blue. FULL STORY


Montana
 

Officers save infant buried in woods for 9 hours

About six hours into the search, a deputy heard a faint cry and found the infant. FULL STORY


Nebraska
 

Neb. officer receives $75K on ‘Ellen’ to finish her college degree

Heroes come in many forms. Officer Chassidy Jackson-Goodwin raised her daughter as a single parent and took out $17,000 in loans so her daughter could attend college. The officer never got to complete her own bachelor’s degree in criminal justice – until her daughter shared her story of heroism with The Ellen Show. FULL STORY


Nevada
 

Off-duty Nev. troopers go 'above and beyond the call' to rescue residents in fire

Two off-duty Nevada Highway Patrol troopers helped rescue residents as a blaze ravaged through apartments. FULL STORY


New Hampshire
 

 

On Saturday, February 3, 2018, at approximately 7:15 PM Officers Jared Arsenault and Kenneth Gauthier responded to a...

Posted by Brentwood Police Department on Tuesday, February 6, 2018

2 officers come to aid of dog impaled on metal fence

The dog’s owner was attempting to free him without success. FULL STORY


New Jersey
 

 

Trooper Stops Retired Police Officer Who Delivered Him 27 Years Ago We’re not sure what the odds are of this...

Posted by New Jersey State Police on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Trooper pulls over retired LEO who helped deliver him 27 years ago

After a retired LEO told a trooper a story of how he helped deliver a baby in 1991, the trooper extended his hand and said: "My name is Michael Patterson, sir. Thank you for delivering me.” FULL STORY


New Mexico
 

Cop helps homeless man with a new wheelchair

“The look on his face was certainly something I won’t forget,” the officer said. FULL STORY


New York

 

Cop jumps off overpass to save boy’s life

Officer Jessie Ferreira was driving to work when she witnessed a 12-year-old boy jump over a guardrail and fall several feet onto concrete. FULL STORY


North Carolina
 

 

Some calls can be heart breaking but it’s a simple random act of kindness that can change a life. Officer Harkey was...

Posted by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Officer buys food for hungry kids after mother’s medical emergency

When the children told the officer they hadn’t eaten for a day, he immediately took action. FULL STORY


North Dakota
 

LEO pays for gas to help stranded family

A North Dakota officer went above and beyond for a family stranded in the middle of town in freezing temperatures. FULL STORY


Ohio
 

 
To Serve And Protect

Mike and the team swing into to Canton Ohio, home of the football hall of fame, to get to know Officer LaMar Sharpe and the "Be a Better Me Foundation" a movement that encourages and empowers inner city youth by providing access to positive role models.

Posted by Returning The Favor on Monday, July 23, 2018

Ohio officer’s charitable work highlighted in 'Dirty Jobs' star’s new show

Officer Lamar Sharpe, who runs a nonprofit that provides role models to the inner city youth of Canton, Ohio, showed off his work on Mike Rowe’s new show. FULL STORY


Oklahoma
 

Okla. police thwart attempted kidnapping of woman at Walmart

Investigators found gas cans, ropes and zip ties inside the suspect’s car. FULL STORY


Oregon
 

Ore. officer rescues baby deer stuck in fence

The terrified fawn was stuck in a backyard fence. FULL STORY


Pennsylvania
 

 

We were sent a picture of Deputy Chief Bentley helping an elderly man into UPMC Susquehanna. The man's wife went to the...

Posted by Montoursville Police Department on Thursday, April 19, 2018

Officer takes elderly man to hospital to visit sick wife

When 84-year-old Roger Baker didn’t have a ride to get to the hospital, Deputy Chief Jason Bentley knew what he had to do. FULL STORY


Rhode Island
 

Police replace boy's stuffed cheetah lost on interstate

Four-year-old Will Ketcher was riding in a car when his stuffed cheetah, Roger, fell out the window onto Interstate 95. Heartbroken, his dad suggested they write to the state police after the family returned home to Brooklyn. FULL STORY


South Carolina
 

 

The Mount Pleasant Police Department SWAT team and the Charleston Police Department rappelling down the MUSC Children’s Hospital.

Posted by Mount Pleasant Police Department on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

SC SWAT officers dress up as superheroes to surprise kids at hospital, school

Superman, Batman and more heroes scaled walls to the cheers of children. FULL STORY


South Dakota
 

 

As we bring today to a close, let us not forget about the 39 law enforcement officers, this year, who have given the ultimate sacrifice to keep us all safe. In memory of each of them, this Trooper did 1 push-up for each officer killed in the line of duty. #neverforget

Posted by South Dakota Highway Patrol on Saturday, April 14, 2018

Trooper does push-ups in blizzard to honor fallen LEOs

The trooper braved the blizzard to do one push-up for each LEO killed in the line of duty in 2018. FULL STORY


Tennessee
 

 

Caught On Camera KPD Investigator Jim Quick jumped into action on the evening of December 27th after seeing a disabled and stranded female stopped in the road near Montgomery Village. Inv. Quick immediately exited his patrol car and began pushing the heavy electric wheelchair up a hill, across the railroad tracks, and all the way to the persons home. Great job Inv. Quick! This is what we mean by #CommunityStrong.

Posted by Knoxville Police Department - TN on Friday, January 5, 2018

Officer pushes stranded woman in wheelchair all the way home

The officer pushed the woman up a hill, across railroad tracks and eventually to her home. FULL STORY


Texas
 

Officer dances with young girl in wheelchair at party

The officer said he was inspired and impressed with the young girl’s dance moves. FULL STORY


Utah
 

 
9-1-1 for girls who need dates for the daddy daughter dance.

South Salt Lake Police Department and South Salt Lake Fire Department put on their dancing shoes and came to the rescue of some darling little girls who needed dance partners.

Posted by Deanie Wimmer KSL on Friday, February 9, 2018

Police, firefighters act as fill-in fathers at daddy-daughter dance

The first responders danced with girls who did not have a father at the South Salt Lake Valentine’s Day daddy-daughter dance. FULL STORY


Vermont
 

 

I have a problem with this obituary. Born here in Burlington, Madelyn was the 30-year old mother of a toddler. She was...

Posted by Brandon del Pozo on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Vt. chief stunned by opioid victim's viral obit calls for better treatment for addicts

The police chief used his platform to call for change. FULL STORY


Virginia
 

Va. officer donates kidney to firefighter’s son

Following an eight-month search, Officer Josie Hall turned out to be a perfect match. FULL STORY


Washington

Officer delivers special gifts to family after burglary


“It’s kind of cool that somebody would care that much and do something like that for people he doesn’t even know.” FULL STORY


West Virginia
 

 

On Saturday April 14, 2018 Cpl. Jamie Wilson responded to a domestic complaint at Vandalia Apartments. Upon arrival Cpl....

Posted by Charleston Police Department Community Services on Thursday, April 19, 2018

W.Va. officer buys diapers with own money for mother in need

After learning that a mother’s live-in boyfriend had taken money from her, Cpl. Jamie Wilson said he acted like any officer and father would. FULL STORY


Wisconsin

Wis. officer earns state recognition for good deed


“Law enforcement officers swear a duty to serve and protect, and they do this in big and small ways every day,” Attorney General Brad Schimel said. “Officer Chapin’s actions were small, but mattered to a local citizen. Whether it’s saving someone’s life or making someone’s day a little easier, Officer Chapin and Wisconsin’s law enforcement officers make me proud.” FULL STORY


Wyoming
 

Officer saves partner critically wounded in shootout

Officer Randi Garrett was credited for providing critical first aid to Officer Jacob Carlson during a shootout with a suspect that left Carlson with multiple gunshot wounds. During all of this, Garrett also managed to comfort children who were on the scene of the shooting. Carlson has since returned to work in limited duty and is expected to return to full duty in a year. FULL STORY

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