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December 2014

Chief of Police Thomas Fowler, Sergeant Robert Roy, Officer Michael Alder, and Officer Justin Murphy

Salisbury (MA) Police Department and Seabrook (NH) Police Department

Left to right: Chief Thomas Fowler, Officer Michael Alder, Sergeant Robert Roy and Officer Justin Murphy

Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Chief of Police Thomas Fowler, Sergeant Robert Roy, and Officer Michael Alder of the Salisbury (MA) Police Department, as well as Officer Justin Murphy of the Seabrook (NH) Police Department as the recipients of its Officer of the Month Awards for December 2014.

On May 15, 2014, the Salisbury (MA) Police Department received a 911 call indicating that police and ambulances were needed at a location where a man and woman had been brutally attacked and stabbed in what was believed to be a domestic dispute.

Sergeant Roy was one of the first officers to respond to the scene. As he arrived, the suspect attempted to flee by aiming his car directly at Sergeant Roy’s cruiser. Sergeant Roy was forced to abruptly turn the wheel of his police car to avoid a head-on collision. This action caused the suspect to strike a second responding officer’s car, belonging to Officer Alder. Although Officer Alder’s airbags deployed during the collision, he was able to extricate himself from the passenger side of his vehicle.

The suspect was observed wielding both a machete and a knife, which he then used to threaten the responding officers. The suspect stated that he wanted the responding officers to shoot him. Officer Alder attempted to engage the suspect in conversation and convince him to put down his weapons, but the suspect remained agitated and threatening.

Salisbury Police Chief Fowler overheard dispatches related to the incident and arrived on the scene, immediately retrieving an AR-15 patrol rifle from the trunk of his vehicle. Officer Justin Murphy soon arrived on scene and suddenly, the suspect’s demeanor escalated and he became more aggressive.

The suspect began advancing on the officers. Chief Fowler directed Officer Murphy to deploy his Taser on the suspect, but it had little effect on slowing or stopping his advancement toward the officers. Chief Fowler and Officer Alder were forced to use their weapons on the suspect, each firing two shots. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The stabbing victims went on to recover from their attack.

“These officers continue to protect and serve their respective communities,” said Bryan McMahon, Executive Secretary of the New England Police Benevolent Association. “Their selfless acts and distinguished service should not go unacknowledged. They are true and fine representatives of the law enforcement community.”

“These four officers deserve to be recognized for their gallantry in the face of obvious danger,” said Lieutenant and Executive Officer Anthony King of the Salisbury (MA) Police Department. “They responded without fear or hesitation in order to assist the victims, the residents of Salisbury who live in the immediate area, and each other. Despite being faced with this armed and obviously violent subject, these officers made every attempt to end this standoff in a peaceful manner, while always knowingly placing themselves in between the suspect and the public,” he continued. “This incident is the most impressive display of teamwork and professionalism that I have ever experienced in my twenty-three years as a police officer.”

“These officer’s quick actions and police instincts enabled them to save their community from further danger,” said Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd. “They are truly heroes to their community and they deserve to be the recipients of the Officer of the Month Award.”

Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.

Chief Fowler, Sergeant Roy, Officer Alder, and Officer Murphy, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2014 will be honored at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2015, during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of service and heroism will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s annual calendar.

Police Unity Tour The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund's Officer of the Month Program.