(City of Pocatello Press Release, August 26, 2022; Cover Photo Credit: City of Pocatello)
PROMOTIONS, AWARDS, AND CERTIFICATES CEREMONY:
We are proud to announce a couple of recent promotions within the Pocatello Police Department. Patrol Capitan Eric Anderson has been promoted to Deputy Chief, Sergeant Adrian Wadsworth has been promoted to Patrol Lieutenant, Detective Jeffrey Eldridge has been promoted to Patrol Sergeant, Officer Jacob Johnson has been promoted to Corporal, and Support Specialist Amy Taysom has been promoted to Executive Assistant to the Chief.
Officer Bridget McArthur, Officer Ryen Smith, and Officer Scott Card were recognized for obtaining their intermediate certifications from the Idaho Peace Officer Standards & Training Department. Congratulations to these officers on their “First milestone as police officers.”
Chief Schei had the opportunity to present several Pocatello Police Officers and Pocatello Police Emergency Communications Officers with awards and medals for their heroic acts resulting in people’s lives being saved. A list of the Pocatello Police Department’s Commendations Awards and a description of the criteria to be nominated for an award have been added below.
On May 5th, 2022, Officer Demetrius Amos and Officer Mackenzie Handel were wounded during an officer-involved shooting incident. Members of the PPD, family members and friends of the employees involved in that incident will never forget that day. We are grateful the injured officers have made a full recovery. Officer Amos and Officer Handel were presented with the department’s highest award, the Medal of Honor, for their acts of courage involving risk or imminent danger to their life above and beyond the call of duty. Officer Demetrius Amos and Officer Mackenzie Handel were also presented with Purple Hearts awards because they suffered a severe or disabling injury while performing their law enforcement duties. Corporal Alan Jackson, Officer Tracy Lance Cartwright, Officer Bradon Hawkins, Officer Russell Comstock, and Officer Breyvon Johnson were presented with the Medal of Valor for their courageous acts during this incident. Meritorious Services awards were presented to Communication Officers Nicole Berry, Shauna Stramaglio, Bonnie Esquibel, and Kalauni Teeter for their extremely well-executed dispatching during this incident. Sergeant Akilah Lacey, Corporal Alan Jackson, Officer Tracy Lance Cartwright, Officer Jacob Mumford, Officer Russell Comstock, Officer Breyvon Johnson, Officer Cheyenne Fetchen, Officer Tyler Anderson, and Officer Bridget McArthur were presented with Life Saving Awards for their quick thinking and actions during this incident.
A separate incident from the one above occurred on July 5, 2022, in the area of Hiline and El Rancho. A vehicle left the roadway and landed upside down in a canal submerged under water. Officers were dispatched to the scene of the accident shortly after it happened. Corporal Jordan Johnson and Corporal Joel Weinheimer were the first officers to arrive on the scene. Both officers immediately entered the water in an attempt to gain access to the inside of the vehicle. Corporal Weinheimer broke the car window, gained access to the vehicle, located an unconscious female inside of the vehicle, and removed her from the vehicle. Corporal Weinheimer and Corporal Johnson carried the female up the canal bank and handed her to Officer Lance Cartwright. Emergency Medical Services personnel provided the woman, who was later identified as Joanna Ferrin, and she has since made a full recovery. Corporal Weinheimer had the foresight to return to the vehicle and submerge himself underwater to ensure no one else was inside the vehicle. Officer Cartwright, Corporal Joel Weinheimer, and Corporal Jordan Johnson were presented with Life Saving Awards for their courageous actions.
MEDAL OF HONOR: The Medal of Honor is the Department’s highest award. This is awarded to the Police Department member who willingly and selflessly gives their life in the line of duty, or distinguishes themselves by the performance of an act of courage involving risk or imminent danger to their life above and beyond the call of duty. The act must clearly be so conspicuous that it distinguishes itself from other heroic acts that are recognizable in lesser awards of bravery.
MEDAL OF VALOR: The Medal of Valor is the Department’s second highest award. This is awarded to the Police Department members who willingly and selflessly give their life in the line of duty, or distinguish themselves through an act of courage, involving the risk of imminent serious personal injury for the purpose of saving or protecting human life. The recipient is not required to have prior knowledge of the risk involved.
PURPLE HEART: The Purple Heart is awarded to a Department officer who suffers a severe or disabling injury or death while performing their law enforcement duties either on or off duty. The recipient must be acting within the confines of the law and within department regulations and guidelines. The physical injury shall be an injury that created substantial risk, death, or a serious injury. A serious injury is one that potentially produces prolonged impairment of health or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
MERITORIOUS SERVICE BY A DEPARTMENT MEMBER: The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to any department member for a highly creditable accomplishment, bringing public acclaim to the member, the department, or the police profession. The award can be for any act, which will be of significant importance in the law enforcement field or any involvement in the community that has contributed significantly to the betterment of the community.
LIFE-SAVING AWARD: The Life Saving Award may be awarded to any department member who is on or off duty, and performs an act that saves a human life. The award may also be earned by any act which is considered instrumental in directly contributing to the saving of a life.