50 states, 50 police heroes: How cops made an impact in 2019

From small acts to big ones, police officers did good all over this country every day in 2019


For more from our expert columnists on the year in policing, check out our full "2019 in Review" special coverage here

By PoliceOne Staff

Police heroism comes in many forms. From the small acts, like a cop taking a few moments from their duties to have a snowball fight with a group of local kids, to the big ones, like a group of LEOs saving countless lives by taking down an active shooter, police officers did good all over this country every day in 2019. Just as we did last year, we’ve rounded up one act of police heroism from each of the 50 states (plus D.C.!) – just a small sample of the great work America’s finest put in every day. Tell us your favorite moments of heroism from the year in the comments section, and remember to always share the good work that’s happening in your agency with the public; proactively telling your stories can go a long way toward combating negative narratives.      

Alabama

 

On Wednesday in Alabama, a Walker County Sheriff's Office Deputy came across a man walking down the road with an oxygen...

Posted by Morgan County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Deputies praised for driving veteran to doctor across county lines

A group of deputies from different counties worked together to make sure a disabled veteran didn’t have to walk to his doctor’s appointment. FULL STORY


Alaska

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Retired cop in Alaska plane crash rescues victims while injured

Retired cop Kim Castro swam into frigid waters and pulled people to safety during a tragic, deadly plane collision. FULL STORY


Arizona

 

Charlie called 911 and requested a happy meal. 😵 How's your Sunday going? 🤣 #mesapd #mcdonalds

Posted by Kim Skabelund on Sunday, October 27, 2019

LEO brings child Happy Meal after mistaken 911 phone call

Officer Randolph “Scott” Valdez was sent to the home of 5-year-old Charlie Skabelund after Charlie called 911 asking for a Happy Meal. FULL STORY


Arkansas

Ark.’s oldest active LEO turns 90

Sometimes heroism is just simply spending a lifetime in service of others, like Leonard Charles Smith, who has worked in law enforcement for 56 years. FULL STORY


California

 
SAPD Recover Stolen Landscape Truck Via Phone App

On 27 March 2019, between 11 am - 12 pm, a local man's landscape vehicle was stolen with all of his tools, cash for rent, and a cell phone. Total value estimated at $3k. The man is the sole provider for his family; his daughter called SAPD and reported the crime. Patrol Officers started pursuing the vehicle through an app on the iPhone and were able to locate the truck. The suspects were unwilling to cooperate thus reluctant to provide the location of his property. The Santa Ana Police Officers Association donated funds, and officers escorted the gentleman to purchase new equipment. #sapoa31strong#31strong #santaanapolicedepartment @sapoa31strong

Posted by Santa Ana Police Officers Association on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

LEOs donate their own money to landscaper whose car, tools were stolen

The officers donated and raised money to help the man get back to work. FULL STORY


Colorado

How an SRO is helping give a little boy the strength to walk

School Resource Officer Brad Gagon is going above and beyond to help Roman, a 7-year-old with cerebral palsy. FULL STORY


Connecticut

 

***Trooper Recognized for Apprehending Homicide Suspect*** MIDDLETOWN, CT (April 9, 2019) – In a ceremony at...

Posted by Connecticut State Police on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Conn. LEO honored for role in capture of suspect who fatally stabbed NYPD police explorer

Trooper First Class Jason Cassavechia apprehended the 14th suspect in the slaying of Bronx teen Lesandro Guzman-Feliz. FULL STORY


Delaware

 
Delaware Special Olympics Opening Ceremony

On June 14, 2019 over 500 police officers representing every agency in the state of Delaware ran 160 miles to deliver the Flame of Hope to the Bob Carpenter Center. This weekend Special Olympics athletes competed in a multitude of individual and team sports to unify our community and continue to foster a world of acceptance and inclusion.

Posted by New Castle County Police on Sunday, June 16, 2019

Cops carry Special Olympics torch

Officers participated in a three-day, 160-mile torch run. FULL STORY


Florida

 
Officers Delivering Bicycle

Field Training Officer Ken Cody and Officer Trainee Guang Song took a report of a stolen bicycle from the Winn Dixie in south Cape Coral. The victim was a male in his 80s and the bicycle was his only mode of transportation. After taking the report, both officers couldn’t just allow the victim to be without any way to get around so they went to Walmart and bought him a new bicycle. They delivered it to his home and made sure the seat was adjusted before leaving. A citizen took the time to share the incident on Facebook. Here is the video of the officers delivering the bicycle. The investigation is ongoing into finding the suspect that took the bicycle.

Posted by Cape Coral Police Department on Monday, February 18, 2019

Officers gift new bike to elderly man after his was stolen

Two officers went above and beyond for an 80-year-old man who lost his mode of transportation. FULL STORY


Georgia

 

This past Sunday, Officer Simmons (with the Duluth Police Department) attended Tye Clinner Birthday, which was hosted by...

Posted by Duluth Police Department on Monday, September 16, 2019

Cops throw birthday party for boy with cerebral palsy

Officers baked a cake, allowed children to check out police vehicles during the surprise event. FULL STORY


Hawaii

 

Hey Everyone! I just wanted to take a moment to let You all know we made it home safely from Hawaii today. Thank you for...

Posted by I DONUT need a reason to THANK a cop, Inc. on Saturday, August 10, 2019

Cops honor ‘donut boy’ as he completes mission to deliver sweet treat to cops in all 50 states

Kauai Chief of Police Todd Raybuck presented Tyler Carach with a number of gifts in recognition of his accomplishment. Hawaii was Carach’s last stop on his mission to deliver donuts to cops in all 50 states. FULL STORY


Idaho

Cop’s quick-thinking saves disabled man

“He gave him a chance to make it. He’s a hero to us.” FULL STORY


Illinois

 

shout out to Chicago PD for the collab ! 🚀🔥🎹

Posted by Erik Greeno on Saturday, September 21, 2019

Chicago cop joins street performer for impromptu performance

Video shows a crowd gathering to hear the surprise collaboration. FULL STORY


Indiana

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Trooper saves choking child

State Trooper Ben Reason performed the Heimlich maneuver inside the family's minivan. FULL STORY


Iowa

Police rescue 2 people after raft overturns in downtown Des Moines

The dramatic rescue was captured on a bodycam. FULL STORY


Kansas

Four hours as a hostage leads man to career as an officer

A life-or-death encounter inspired the man to start a career in law enforcement. FULL STORY


Kentucky

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Slain Ky. marshal honored over a century later in Texas

The marshal’s death until recently had been a lost part of history. FULL STORY


Louisiana

Video shows cops' intense gun battle with robbery suspects

Two men trying to steal a trove of pills from a drugstore demanded that New Orleans police blocking the exit “back up” before opening fire and striking an officer. FULL STORY


Maine

 

Our hearts are broken at the loss of our brother Det. Ben Campbell. Thank you all for your support on this terrible...

Posted by Maine State Police - Headquarters on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Detective killed while aiding motorist

Ben Campbell’s final act was helping someone in need. FULL STORY


Maryland

Officer honored for bravery during methadone clinic shooting

Sgt. Bill Shiflett received the department's highest honor for his bravery during the active shooter incident. FULL STORY


Massachusetts

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Officer helps couple deliver baby at home

"Normally the EMTs or Fire Department would handle a situation like this, but I just happened to be there first," the LEO said. FULL STORY


Michigan

 

What a great Detroit cop!! This is right outside Comerica park. The game was a rainout but this officer went way above and beyond to help this man shave!!!💙🖤

Posted by Jill Metiva Schafer on Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Cop helps homeless man trying to shave in puddle

“I just went over there, threw a pair of gloves on, took my water bottle out, dumped it in his cup and tried to help him shave.” FULL STORY


Minnesota

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LEO hands out cold weather gear to homeless during big freeze

Over a 48-hour stretch, he handed out more than 100 pairs of donated hats and gloves to people on the streets. FULL STORY


Mississippi

 

LEO helped at wreck shortly before he was shot to death

Patrolman Robert McKeithen’s final act was in service to others. FULL STORY


Missouri

 

So Officer Wehlermann was on patrol today and saw this flag hanging upside down at a local business on Noland Road. The...

Posted by Independence Police Department on Saturday, January 19, 2019

Officer praised for helping fix upside-down American flag at local business

The officer stepped in along with the help of some firefighters. FULL STORY


Montana

LEO makes woman who used hair dryer to slow speeding drivers honorary trooper

"The best thing I could think of was (to) give her a trooper hat and a badge to make her look a little more official.” FULL STORY


Nebraska

Cops rescue suicidal man

While cops were talking to the man, he set the garage he was in on fire and locked the unit. FULL STORY


Nevada

Las Vegas officers honored for heroic acts were just 'doing their job'

The seventh annual “Best of the Badge” commendation ceremony recognized 70 cops for their good work. FULL STORY


New Hampshire

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PDs use 'comfort dogs' to build community connections

These departments are taking on dogs trained to provide comfort to crime victims and trauma survivors. FULL STORY


New Jersey

 

There were so many heroes on Tuesday. Brave officers who confronted hundreds of rounds being fired at them. This video...

Posted by NJ State PBA on Thursday, December 12, 2019

Jersey City LEO praised for rushing to assist officer shot during gun battle

Sgt. Majorie Jordan abandoned her cover to assist an officer who was shot in the shoulder. FULL STORY


New Mexico

Cops rescue ducklings from storm drain

The 11 ducklings were stuck in the drain. FULL STORY


New York

Detective who fought for 9/11 compensation funding dies

Detective Luis Alvarez fought for what was right until the very end. Thanks in part to his efforts, a bill ensuring that the 9/11 victims' compensation fund never runs out of money was signed into law.  FULL STORY


North Carolina

Police thwart mass shooting plot

The student was arrested with guns and ammunition in his dorm room. FULL STORY


North Dakota

Officer honored with Thunderbirds flight for community policing work

Matt Niemeyer works with kids to build bonds between law enforcement and the youth. FULL STORY


Ohio

LEOs take down mass shooter

Officers stopped the suspect moments before he entered a bar. FULL STORY


Oklahoma

 
Drumming officer interacts with citizens from our great city

Last Friday, our officers were called to a loud noise complaint in south OKC. When they got there, they found a man set up playing drums. Officer Nate Ross was the first to arrive. He chatted with the man, explaining that they had been called there because someone was complaining that the music was too loud. Little did anyone know that Officer Ross used to play the drums back in the day. Someone happened to capture Ross sitting down, showing them how it was done. When asked about this call, Officer Ross said, "I firmly believe that the success of our department, in part, is about our interactions with citizens. I could have gone over there, talking down to them, telling them it was too loud and they needed to turn it down...but this was a lot more fun...it gave me a chance to interact with the people I serve. I got some hugs and handshakes at the end of it all, then they turned it down and left." Yes, our officers have a job to do, and laws to enforce, but how great is it when we can interact with the great citizens we serve?? #loveit #okcpd #communitypolicing #drummingcop

Posted by Oklahoma City Police Department on Monday, April 29, 2019

Okla. LEO plays drums with band while responding to noise complaint

When the LEO responded to the complaint, he decided to play the drums with the band before telling them to turn down the music. FULL STORY


Oregon

Officer shot multiple times applied tourniquet to herself

Dispatch audio captured the moment a shot and wounded Oregon officer administered aid to herself while waiting for paramedics to arrive. FULL STORY


Pennsylvania

Pa. cops use karaoke to build community relationships

The officers started hosting events in the neighborhood they patrol to address negative police perception. FULL STORY


Rhode Island

Quick-thinking LEOs save choking baby's life

The baby’s mother thanked God the officers were there. FULL STORY


South Dakota

Cops raise money to help needy children have a better Christmas

The money helped 115 children. FULL STORY


South Carolina

Deputy saves infant's life

Deputy William Kimbro took the limp baby from her mother and performed first aid to save her during a traffic stop. FULL STORY


Tennessee

 

Allison Haley Garrett sent this to me and I have to say it triggered my soft side. Allison is a dispatcher and was able to take her father’s final sign off for his retirement! Seriously couldn’t love this enough! Thank you for your service of 25 years Lt. Austin L. Garrett and congratulations on your new endeavors as Chief Deputy of Hamilton Co. S.O! Officer Daniels 911Strong Set_the_example Fire Department Chronicles Ohio Cops Ohio Going Blue Diary of a Mad Dispatcher

Posted by Officer Smith on Saturday, February 9, 2019

Dispatcher takes dad’s final sign off ‘I love you daddy’

Lt. Austin Garrett retired from his PD after 25 years of service. But his service continues: he became a chief deputy at another PD shortly after. FULL STORY


Texas

Officer in viral photo praised for compassion

“He started crying. I almost cried too. I tried to keep the composure.” FULL STORY


Utah

 
UHP Trooper saves person on tracks

BREAKING: Utah Highway Patrol released the dashcam footage from this morning's accident.

Posted by KSL Newsradio on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cop pulls man from train’s path in close-call rescue

The train collided with the man’s vehicle seconds after the trooper pulled him free. FULL STORY


Vermont

Agencies across Vermont collect toys for ill children

A firefighter and trooper collectively came up with the idea to give back to the community and launched “Operation Fire Cuffs,” now in its ninth year. FULL STORY


Virginia

 

 

Posted by Iesha Roper Boswell on Thursday, February 14, 2019

Officer plays dolls with girls in street

The officer decided to take a moment with the girls after responding to a gas leak in their neighborhood. FULL STORY


Washington

 
Snowmageddon

Patrol Log 1230 hours – Big Rock Ballfields: During inclement weather conditions, Duvall Officers were dispatched to a group of suspicious characters in a local park. Officers arrived and contacted a group of local hostiles, who were armed with improvised projectiles made out of fluffy snow. Officers put up a valent effort, but were immediately out-gunned and numbers were just not on their side. Officers apologize to Officer Clark who was left behind as they tactically retreated. Just another day in Duvall…

Posted by Duvall Police Department on Monday, February 4, 2019

Police get in snowball fight with kids during snowstorm

Officers grabbed a tactical shield and had fun with local kids during a winter storm. FULL STORY


West Virginia

Cops save kid’s birthday party after no one shows up

Cops saved the day for 5-year-old Cameron. FULL STORY


Wisconsin

 

There are no words....Pure Joy! Thank you to everyone who took the time to organize and participate in this. Emma is...

Posted by Team Emma - Emmalovesdogs7 on Saturday, March 9, 2019

Terminally ill girl visited by almost 40 PDs, K-9s

A terminally ill Wisconsin girl who loves dogs was able to spend a day with K-9 officers. FULL STORY


Wyoming

Deputies use lasso to rescue deer from frozen pond

The LEOs lassoed the deer and brought it up to the surface. FULL STORY


Washington D.C.

Thankful mom reunited with transit cop who calmed her autistic son on train ride

Noisy train platforms can get overwhelming for anybody, but for 4-year-old Andrew, who has autism, a recent ride put him over the edge. FULL STORY

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