(Left to right: Sergeant Codding and Major Hampton)
An Oregon State Police (OSP) sergeant from the Springfield Area Command office was presented last week with the Department’s “Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award” for his heroic, lifesaving action in May 2012 that helped save a female kidnap victim while she was held hostage at a remote cabin in Klamath County.
On July 16, 2014, OSP Major Travis Hampton presented the “Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award” to Sergeant Casey Codding in front of family, friends and co-workers at the Portland Area Command office. The lifesaving award is presented to OSP employees who distinguish themselves by performing or reacting to a situation in a positive and professional manner which saves, or reduces the risk of loss of life of another person; and, where a strong possibility existed that if such action wasn’t taken, loss of life or serious injury would have resulted.
On May 1, 2012 in the late morning hours, law enforcement officers responded to a report that a vehicle associated with a Umatilla County missing person case was spotted near a cabin in the Crescent Lake area. Upon confirming the report, officers secured the area and the OSP SWAT team responded to the scene. Negotiators made contact with two people inside later confirmed as the 28-year old suspect and a 26-year old female kidnap victim. According to Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, the victim was reported missing under suspicious circumstances on April 27.
After several hours of negotiations with the male suspect, at approximately 4:50 p.m., the suspect exited the cabin with the woman in close quarters as a human shield. During the standoff outside the cabin, Sergeant Codding was assigned in a sniper position on the perimeter of the scene. As the suspect held the victim as a human shield, the suspect was shot once by Sergeant Codding and received a non-life threatening injury. The female hostage was released unharmed and rescued from the cabin where she reportedly was held against her will since she was reported missing.
The suspect was subsequently prosecuted in Umatilla County.
“Casey’s courage and skills during a life-threatening situation ultimately saved the woman’s life,” said Superintendent Richard Evans.
Sergeant Codding, age 37, is a 13-year OSP veteran assigned to the Patrol Services Division at the Springfield Area Command office.
The “Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award” is named after Lieutenant Harold R. Berg who died in 1975. Berg, while off duty at a family picnic near Tillamook, was contacted by a citizen who informed him that a boy scout was missing at Cape Lookout State Park. While attempting to search a cave near the water’s edge, he was washed out to sea.