Officer of the Month — November 2010
Washington, DC — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Officer Raymond Blohm of the Upper Darby (PA) Police Department as its Officer of the Month for November 2010.
In the early morning hours of May 21, 2010, Officer Raymond Blohm was on routine patrol when he observed a male walking with an open container of alcohol and smoking what appeared to be marijuana. Officer Blohm, familiar with the individual and his behavior from previous encounters, attempted to stop him. The suspect saw the police cruiser attempted to conceal his open container and ignored Officer Blohm’s direction to stop and ran away.
Officer Blohm pursued the suspect on foot, warning the suspect he would deploy his Taser. With that, the suspect turned and produced a handgun from his waistband, raising it to fire at Blohm. Faced with a lethal threat, Blohm deployed his Taser which had no effect on the suspect.
Officer Blohm then drew his service weapon and saw an area of cover across the street. While running, he narrowly avoided an oncoming vehicle but was struck by rounds fired from the suspect. One bullet hit his upper back, but thankfully was stopped by his bullet resistant vest; two bullets struck him in his lower back and a fourth had grazed his thumb. Wounded, Officer Blohm returned fire in the direction of the suspect, hitting him several times.
Now wounded, the suspect gave up the assault and renewed his attempt to flee. Keeping him in sight, Blohm changed the magazine on his semi-automatic pistol and made several attempts to call for help on his radio, but his police radio had been disabled by a round during the firefight. Without knowing if backup was en route, he continued after the gunman.
Blohm caught the suspect and saw he was wounded and no longer armed. Holding the suspect at gunpoint with one hand, he contacted the dispatcher for help. When backup arrived, Blohm assisted in securing the suspect, provided a chronology of the incident, and identified the possible location of the suspect’s discarded firearm.
At the hospital doctors attended to Blohm’s wounds, locating one bullet lodged just under the skin in his lower back. Another .22 caliber bullet traveled through his lower back into the soft tissue area of his spine and chipped the bone. Doctors opted to not operate for the time being, and Blohm was allowed to go home to rest.
In his letter of nomination for Officer Blohm, Superintendent of the Upper Darby (PA) Police Department Michael Chitwood wrote, “Officer Blohm demonstrated extreme discipline and his actions were dictated by his training and following police procedure. He displayed tenacity and courage in the apprehension of this violent repeat offender and halted his lethal assault. Officer Blohm is the epitome of police professionalism when he was faced with lethal force.”
A married father of two, Officer Blohm is a nine year veteran with the Upper Darby (PA) Police Department. In addition to his regular duties he is a Firearms Instructor and serves on the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team. He has received numerous awards in the course of his career including the 2008 Officer of the Year Award from the Upper Darby-Lansdowne Rotary Club.
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 Blohm, 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.