MA State Trooper receives Hanna Award for Valor in Brockton Shooting Incident

A Massachusetts State Trooper was recognized Tuesday at the Statehouse for his actions during a dangerous daytime shooting incidentMedal of valor on Brockton in March 2014.

Trooper Shaun P. Bellao was among 12 police officers from six departments honored by Gov. Charlie Baker. The dozen officers received Hanna Awards for exemplary acts of bravery while carrying out their duties in the last years. “The officers we honor today responded at a moment’s notice and put everything on the line in order to keep the public safe from danger,” said Gov. Baker, who presented the awards in the Massachusetts House Chamber.

“They are a testament to the level of excellence we expect from law enforcement and their actions show what all officers stand ready to do if the situation demands it.” The George L. Hanna Awards for Bravery are named in memory of State Trooper George L. Hanna, who was shot and killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop in Auburn February 26, 1983.

The Medal of Valor Trooper Bellao received is the second highest Hanna award and is awarded to officers who demonstrate actions above and beyond the call of duty, disregarding the potential for danger to themselves.

According to a State Police summary of the events, Thursday afternoon, March 20, 2014, Trooper Bellao was participating in a joint operation with members of the Brockton Police and two other State Troopers. The troopers heard two gunshots and observed two males, who were later identified as the shooting victims, running away. The troopers immediately drove toward the origin of the shots fired. As they approached the area, they heard two additional gunshots. Two other males were seen running up the street, one who had a silver handgun in his right hand. The troopers drove toward the two males, who continued to run. When the two suspects, one still clearly displaying the firearm, began to run in the opposite direction, the troopers immediately stopped, exited their vehicle and identified themselves. When the suspects did not stop, the troopers began to chase them.

As the suspects approached a backyard, they split up and one suspect was immediately apprehended while Trooper Bellao continued to chase the second, armed suspect, according to the summary. The suspect climbed over a chain-link fence and, as he landed, he swung the firearm around and pointed the handgun directly at Trooper Bellao who, continued to pursue the suspect. The suspect then ran into a fenced backyard and attempted to climb a fence when Trooper Bellao caught him. After a physical struggle, Trooper Bellao was able to wrestle the handgun from the suspect and place him into custody.

The area was immediately secured as a crime scene and the troopers were able to locate the two victims being shot at by the suspects. The semi-automatic handgun recovered at the scene was cocked with one round in the chamber and three additional rounds in the magazine. Following the shooting, then-Brockton Police Chief Robert Hayden voiced praise for the troopers and officers who responded to the scene. “They run toward trouble, not away from it,” Hayden said. “They did a fantastic job. It was like clockwork.”


`Courtesy ofThe Enterprise News,Boston,Massachusetts, Gatehouse Media Inc.

Speeder Takes Selfie With Trooper


As he passed the trooper and the ominous flashing lights turned on, Greg Barnes pulled over, "Immediately I knew I was in the wrong.” After being handed a warning from the Indiana trooper, Barnes asked to take a selfie with Tpr. Cosgrove to send a message.


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Funeral of KSP Joseph Ponder

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) - It's a picture that has gone viral - a little girl posing with state troopers from Kentucky and Ohio while holding one of their hats in her hands.

The picture was taken by Sarah Yockey of Elizabethtown on Friday evening following the funeral of slain Kentucky State Police trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder.


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Learn more about being an AAST member by reading the President's Message: Why Troopers Need You

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,

2020 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.