Officer Charles Law
Stratham (NH) Police Department
Washington, DC — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Officer Charles Law of the Stratham (NH) Police Department to receive its Officer of the Month award for January 2013.
Since 1986, under the auspices of the State Attorney General’s Office, the New Hampshire Drug Task Force (DTF) has operated as a multi-jurisdictional entity to combat the effects of illegal drugs throughout the state. At approximately 6:00 pm on April 12, 2012, members of DTF, along with officers from the Greenland (NH) Police Department, attempted to execute a search warrant at the residence of a suspect believed to possess steroids and other illegal drugs. After several attempts to gain entry garnered no response from within the residence, members of the task force broke down the front door. They were immediately met by a hail of gunfire. Greenland Police Chief Mike Maloney’s first thought was to pull the injured officers to safety behind his cruiser. As the rampage continued, Chief Maloney was shot and killed, just days before he was to retire from the small, seven-officer department.
Four additional officers had already been shot, and many others were trapped and taking cover. The New Hampshire State Police and officers from several jurisdictions—including Officer Charles Law and 15 others from the Stratham (NH) Police Department—responded to a statewide emergency call to assist. When Officer Law arrived on scene, he noticed some of the wounded officers were within the shooter’s range. Putting their safety before his own, Officer Law drove his cruiser into the line of fire to assist two injured officers. He exited his cruiser and loaded the officers into his patrol vehicle then drove them to the awaiting ambulances.
Once the wounded officers were in the care of medical personnel, Officer Law returned to the scene and continued to assist with containing the armed and barricaded suspect for several hours until the suspect took his own life. All of the officers that Officer Law helped to rescue survived the incident, although they suffered serious injuries.
For his actions, Officer Charles Law was awarded the Stratham Police Department’s Medal of Valor on August 20, 2012. “Officer Law’s actions and dedication to duty on that day are in keeping with the finest traditions in police service and reflect distinct credit upon himself, the Stratham Police Department, and the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Community,” said Chief John Scippa of the Stratham Police Department.
Officer Law accepted the honor with a heavy heart as he told reporters after the award ceremony, “I had brothers that were down. I had to go in there and rescue them. The true hero that day is obviously Chief Maloney. He made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Officer Charles Law is a 13-year law enforcement veteran. He is a member of the Seacoast Emergency Response Team as a SWAT Operator, as well as a husband and father of a young daughter.
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 Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Officer Charles Law, along with the other Officer of the Month Award winners for 2013, will be honored at a special awards luncheon in Washington, DC in May 2014 during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s annual calendar.