Police present awards at annual ceremony


At a ceremony earlier this month, the Noblesville Police Dept. recognized nine individuals, both officers and civilians, with awards for valor and heroism.

Three Noblesville West Middle School staff were honored for their service during the May 25, 2018 shooting at the school.

Jason Seaman, the seventh-grade NWMS teacher who is credited with stopping the shooting in his classroom and who also was shot three times, was given the NPD’s Distinguished Citizen Service Award. NWMS nurse Megan Schlueter, who provided lifesaving aid to student victim Ella Whistler immediately after the shooting, also was given the Distinguished Citizen Service Award. The award is the highest the police department can give to a civilian, and this is the first time in the department’s history the award has been given.

NWMS resource officers Patrolman Michael Steffen and Sgt. Andrew Reiss were given Lifesaving Awards for their work on May 25.

“You never know what the next call will be or what the situation is when you are the first to arrive on scene. We have an extraordinary group of officers protecting our community, and these officers went above and beyond the call of duty to save lives and make a lasting impact,” NPD Chief Kevin Jowitt said. “Jason Seaman distinguished himself through personal bravery and intrepidness at the risk of his own life without hesitation, as he apprehended an armed assailant in his classroom. His extraordinary acts in the face of personal danger and his professional response during the incident are to be commended. Megan Schlueter’s actions in this incident, while under extreme duress, demonstrated her commitment to providing the highest standard of patient care.”

The department also presented Medals of Valor to Master Patrolman Matthew Johnston, Sgt. Jordan Granger and Lt. Jason Voyak. It also presented Lifesaving Awards to Det. April Kline and Patrolman Corey McGriff and a Purple Heart Medal to Master Patrolman Jason McDermott.

Johnston and Granger demonstrated heroism Nov. 11 when they responded to the 5500 block of East 146th Street in reference to a motor vehicle crash. Once on the scene, Johnston and Granger observed a vehicle approximately 130 feet into the pond that was beginning to sink. The air temperature was 36 degrees, and the water temperature was estimated to be approximately 40 degrees. The officers removed their duty gear and began to swim towards the vehicle. Once there, both officers worked to breakout the rear window and to remove the driver from the vehicle. The three were assisted back to the shore with the assistance of the fire department, transported to area hospitals and treated for signs of hypothermia.

On October 23, Voyak was the first to arrive on the scene of a residential fire in the 300 block of Great Lakes Drive. He could immediately see smoke coming from the apartment and could hear someone moaning inside. Voyak found that the front door was unlocked but was overwhelmed by smoke after opening it. He then got into a crawling position, made entry into the apartment, located the victim just inside the doorway and was able to pull the victim to safety outside.   

On March 11, 2016, Kline and McGriff, along with several other NPD officers, responded to a residential fire in the 1000 block of Watermead Drive. As smoke and open flames had consumed the front door area of the apartment, Kline and McGriff proceeded to the rear of the apartment where they heard a person inside coughing. McGriff used his baton to break a nearby window and both officers pulled the victim through the window to safety.

On May 19, 2015, NPD responded to the 17900 block of Phillips Drive in reference to a complaint of theft from vehicles. Officers arrived a short time later and encountered the alleged suspect in the parking lot. During the investigative process, a struggle ensued as McDermott was attempting to place the suspect into custody. McDermott sustained multiple fractures to his right leg requiring an extensive recovery and rehabilitation period.  

The department also recognized officers reaching milestone years of service: 40 years: Mike Brooks; 25 years: Capt. Brad Arnold, Lt. Bruce Barnes and Tina Williams; 20 years: Capt. Jon Williams, Lt. David Thoma, Sgt. Brian Tragesser, Sgt. Matt McGovern, Sgt. Graig Collings, Sgt. Mike Sadler, Sgt. Tim Hendricks, Sgt. Tony Vasbinder, Sgt. Corey Everhart, Det. John Bunch, Det. Joe Jerrell, Det. Robert Saxon, Officer Seth Miller, Officer Jerry Fenimore, Officer Lonnie Guith, Officer Tim Wilson and Officer Tim Firks.

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