2015 Trooper of The Year

Oregon State Trooper named 2017 Trooper of the Year

Nic Cederburg & John Bagnardi

Senior Trooper Nic Cederberg, a 7-year veteran of the Oregon State Police, was named the American Association of State Troopers 2017 Trooper of the Year for his heroic efforts to stop a murderer from taking more lives.

On December 25, 2016, at approximately 10:30 p.m., a male suspect met his estranged wife, Kate Armand, at his mother's residence in King City, OR to exchange their eleven month old daughter for visitation. After carrying their daughter into his mother's house, the suspect returned to Kate's vehicle and shot her eight times, killing her as she attempted to escape.

Trooper Cederberg was taking a Christmas evening break with his family at his residence. He monitored the ATL on the suspect’s movements and having grown up in the area he knew the suspect would have to go one of two directions to avoid police detection. As Trooper Cederberg patrolled towards King City he found the suspect’s car backed into a driveway. Trooper Cederberg was in an unmarked patrol car, the suspect drove off and a pursuit ensued. During the chase the suspect shot at Trooper Cederberg’s vehicle repeatedly. While under fire, Trooper Cederberg continuously radioed position update to other responding officers in an effort to expedite their response.

The suspect eventually turned down a dead end road. Trooper Cederberg stopped his patrol car short of the end of the road to set up for the suspect’s return. He watched as the suspect did a U-turn and accelerated toward him, and although responding officers were still several minutes away, Trooper Cederberg knew the suspect needed to be stopped. It was clear the suspect intended to ram Trooper Cederberg’s patrol car so the trooper began firing to stop the threat. After ramming Trooper Cederberg’s patrol car the suspect immediately started shooting at the trooper through his passenger window, striking Trooper Cederberg in the right hip knocking him to the ground. The gunshot rendered Trooper Cederberg’s legs useless and it is believed that this is the bullet that is still currently lodged against his spine. Although wounded in the exchange, the suspect got out of his car and moved around the back of his vehicle looking for the trooper. Unable to get up, Trooper Cederberg was able to reload and return fire as the gunfight continued.

The trooper attempted a second reload as suspect charged him firing indiscriminately, his last shot fired a few feet from Trooper Cederberg. The trooper continued to move and fight on the ground; he was struck a total of eleven more times. Five rounds were absorbed by his ballistic vest, but seven rounds struck his body.

The suspect disengaged from the gunfight when he heard the sound of approaching sirens and ran into a nearby wooded area to set up an ambush. The suspect’s ambush was unsuccessful, he died at the scene after a brief but intense exchange of gunfire with other officers.

Officers began treating Trooper Cederberg’s injuries immediately, he was taken to the hospital where he endured numerous surgeries and a lengthy stay in the ICU. His injuries include a collapsed lung, two broken arms, and a bullet lodged against his spine. The bullet near his spine is too dangerous to remove and could be a part of him for the rest of his life.

Trooper Cederberg is still recovering and requiring intense medical treatment. He continues his fight to get better and return to a normal life. Trooper Cederberg has kept an amazing and optimistic attitude. He’s told his friends and family, “I was just doing my job”, his actions helped stop a crazed murderer from injuring or killing more innocent people.

Cederberg was presented the award on July 12, 2017, at a meeting of the Superintendent’s executive staff in Salem, Oregon. Capt. John Bagnardi, Florida Highway Patrol, chairman of the Trooper of the Year committee, Lt. Colonel Dave Witt (ret) who began with the Oregon State Police in the 1950’s and Jason Bledsoe, Oregon State Police, AAST Oregon State Director all attended on behalf of AAST for the presentation of the award to Trooper Cederberg.

Update on Trooper Cederberg’s progress can be found on the following go fund me page,
https://www.gofundme.com/oregon-state-trooper-wounded-1225.

2019 Trooper of The Year

The American Association of State Troopers recognized Trooper Harrell’s heroic actions by naming him the 2020 Trooper of the Year for continuing to pursue a suspect after being shot twice in the face, and his commitment to keeping the citizens of Wilson County, North Carolina safe.

On January 14, 2019, Trooper Harrell had just finished a traffic stop when he noticed a vehicle improperly towing another vehicle. Trooper Harrell caught up with the vehicles and activated his blue lights and siren, the vehicles turned onto a state road before slowly pulling onto the shoulder. Trooper Harrell made contact and explained the reason for the stop to the driver of the vehicle being towed and the driver of the front vehicle, he also noticed a passenger in the front vehicle. Neither of the drivers had a driver’s license or any other form of identification. As Trooper Harrell was talking to the driver of the front vehicle he accelerated and drove off from the stop. Trooper Harrell returned to his patrol car and informed communications that he was in a chase. After travelling down the road, a short distance, the driver pulled over again, as Trooper Harrell was preparing to exit his patrol car the driver leaned out of the vehicle and opened fire on Trooper Harrell striking him twice in the face (once in the forehead and once in the cheek). Trooper Harrell immediately returned fire and the violator drove off again as the passenger jumped out of the vehicle and laid on the ground. Although he was shot and bleeding profusely from his face, Trooper Harrell continued the chase giving updates and descriptions to the Raleigh Communications. The suspect stopped to exit and disconnect the vehicle being towed where Trooper Harrell stopped a safe distance behind and engaged in gunfire with the suspect before he drove off again. The suspect drove a short distance more before making a U-Turn and colliding with Trooper Harrell’s cruiser head on disabling the patrol car.

Trooper Harrell continued to engage the suspect in gunfire before the suspect was able to drive away and then continue his flee attempt on foot.

It is because of Trooper Harrell’s perseverance and communication that the involved persons were located and arrested the night of the incident and no further persons were injured.

A presentation ceremony is will take place later this year.

AAST would like to acknowledge and congratulate the other trooper nominations for the 2020 AAST Trooper of the Year.

Kind Words

All post it notes

Men and women, girls and boys, people of all ages came to the booth to deliver their messages of support.The Patrol acknowledges so many acts of kindness to our personnel over the last few weeks, and we say a humble thank you for your kindness, acknowledgment, and support.The kind words left on the notes were not taken for granted, and left such a positive impact that each and every note was saved.

 

Click here to read to entire story