Saturday, April 16, 2011

Monona PD Awards

As mentioned in a previous post, at the city of Monona's Volunteer Appreciation event, Chief Walter Ostrenga also presented special commendations and awards to five members of the Monona Police Department for their actions on December 8, 2010 in response to a kidnapping in progress at the UW Credit Union.

Monona Police Department Awards

Gail Elliott - Letter of Commendation for Meritorious Service

Jeremy Winge - Letter of Commendation for Meritorious Service and Lifesaving Award

Adam Nachreiner - Lifesaving Award for Meritorious Service and Lifesaving Award

Jim Reiter - Medal of Valor. The highest award for a police officer.

Bruce Rogers - Medal of Valor. The highest award for a police officer.

Briefly paraphrasing Chief Ostrenga's remarks:

Dispatcher Gail Elliott took the initial call in Monona's dispatch and professionally sent out the information that a probable armed kidnapping was in progress at the UWCU in the drive-up lanes. Officer Reiter responded first and took up a position behind the offender’s vehicle. Officer Rogers arrived and blocked the vehicle from the front. The victim bravely and intelligently made a quick exit to safety.

Officer Winge and Chief Ostrenga had been making a routine business visit on Monona Drive when the call came in. They were in route and near the Broadway intersection. The offender rammed his victim's car into Officer Rogers squad. Officer Reiter had taken up position and shot the offender. Of course, real life isn't a TV show; human beings are tough and hang onto life tenaciously. The offender had depressed the gas pedal with the car in reverse, which created a great deal of noise and smoke. Officer Winge took up a cover position along side Rogers and Reiter, while Ostrenga maneuvered a squad car behind the offender to prevent him from fleeing and also stop additional customers from driving through the area. Officers exercised remarkable restraint by not discharging their weapons after the initial shots. As the offender lost consciousness, Officer Winge and Town of Madison Officer Darick W. Krause approached the vehicle, shut off the vehicle and disarmed the now dying man.

The officers switched to life-saving mode, in particular, Officers Nachreiner and Winge. (That in itself is remarkable and a sign of both human compassion and training.) The offender did not survive.

My comments: Out of a terrible string of events (including the home invasion and abduction of the victim) and very bad decisions by the suspect, we see our PD personnel responding professionally, according to training, and simply, heroically.

I think I can speak for everyone in our community in expressing our heartfelt but inadequate thanks and hopes that everyone involved recovers from the events of that cold December day in Monona.

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