November 18, 2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
An Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper who previously worked at the Coos Bay Area Command office now assigned at the La Pine work site was honored Friday night by the Oregon Peace Officers Association (OPOA) with a special award recognizing his help provided to another law enforcement officer who was being assaulted during a domestic disturbance call.
The OPOA held its annual Awards Banquet November 16, 2012 at Spirit Mountain Casino and announced the presentation of special awards to several individuals from numerous law enforcement agencies. One of the awards, the "Medal of Valor", was presented to OSP Trooper James Koehler. The OPOA "Medal of Valor" may be awarded to individuals who, while serving in an official capacity with their law enforcement agency, distinguish themselves by reacting to a situation in a positive and professional manner, thereby reducing the risk of loss of life or injury to citizens.
During the early morning hours of December 10, 2011, Trooper Koehler responded to a Coos County residence to back up a deputy on a domestic assault in progress call in which a male suspect was attempting to get access to firearms from a home safe and threatened to shoot responding officers. When the trooper and deputy arrived at the home they saw the male suspect assaulting a female inside. Upon entering the home to stop the assault, the male suspect became involved in an intense, lengthy fight with the deputy and trooper before the suspect finally was subdued and taken into custody.
Trooper Koehler, the deputy and suspect were all treated at a local hospital for injuries sustained during the altercation. The suspect was later lodged in jail on multiple charges including Assaulting a Public Safety Officer.
"Trooper Koehler's actions that night prevented further injury to the suspect's spouse, and also prevented the suspect from seriously injuring either officer. He showed a tremendous amount of courage and resolve during this intense incident," said OSP Major Mike Bloom.
Trooper Koehler, age 32, has worked for OSP for 4 years. At the time of this incident he was assigned at the Coos Bay Area Command office and is now working at the OSP La Pine work site.