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June 2017

Lieutenant Edward O’Hara

New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission

Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Lieutenant Edward O’Hara, of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for June 2017.

In the afternoon of October 26, 2016, an overturned car on the New Jersey Turnpike was reported to emergency dispatchers. Lt. Edward O’Hara was off-duty when he drove by mile marker 57.1 and observed the vehicle in the grass embankment, with an occupant still inside.

Lt. O’Hara called 911 and raced to the car when he noticed a fire starting in the engine compartment. Without any fire-protective equipment and placing himself in harm’s way, he assisted with removing the occupant of the burning vehicle through the driver’s side door. Seconds later, the car was engulfed in flames.

The driver was pulled a safe distance away from the fire, but was disoriented and unable to articulate what had happened. On a few occasions while waiting for Emergency Medical Services to arrive, the driver attempted to return to his vehicle for his cell phone but was restrained.

When the Robbinsville (NJ) Fire Department arrived at the scene, they were able to evaluate the situation and said Lt. O’Hara saved the driver from almost certain death.

“If Lt. Edward O’Hara did not take swift action to immediately pull the driver from the vehicle, risking his own safety, this motor-vehicle accident would have resulted in the loss of the driver’s life,“ said Les Robertson, Senior Correction Officer at the Juvenile Justice Commission.

“Lt. O’Hara’s heroic act saved the life of this man," Memorial Fund President and CEO Craig W. Floyd said. “But his every day acts at the state’s correctional facilities save New Jersey’s youth offenders. We’re grateful for his work and are happy to give him the Officer of the Month Award for June 2017.”

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.

Lieutenant O’Hara, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2017, will be honored during National Police Week at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2018.

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