It was December 22, 2016

The 131st Trooper Recruit School conducted by the Michigan State Police was about to end. It would conclude with the graduation of 41 new, fresh-out-of-the-wrapper State Troopers.

They were rookies, one and all. They were joining their more seasoned brothers and sisters who would collectively comprise a force of 1,065 Troopers spread across the Great Lakes State.

 

CLASSROOM vs. THE STREET

 When a recruit emerges from the safety and structure of the academy, we find out if he has the mettle to meet the challenges of the street. They become known as rookies.

It is then that the rookies find out what police work is really about. In most agencies, it’s called Field Training. It generally lasts sixteen weeks during which the rookie rides with four senior officers on a rotating basis. Over those weeks, practical knowledge is gained and insight about the real-world of policing is gained.

 

Most guys make it and go on to ‘running solo.’

Others don’t. They wash-out for any one of many reasons.

Initially, a cop carries the ‘Newby’ or ‘FNG’ monikers until they get their first longevity check OR they hit their fifth anniversary on the job – whichever comes first.

Trooper Cody King changed that.

It was just two years and a few days after he finished the academy. On January 24, 2018, King and his senior partner, Trooper Aaron Steensma, were sent to execute a search warrant at a residence in rural Branch County.

They were assisting in the investigation of a cold homicide case.

The occupant of the home emerged from the home. King said, “All I could see is a shot gun barrel and then his first shot was fired.”

Steensma had been hit and was bleeding badly. He collapsed in the back yard of the home. He was out in the open and the only way for escape was about 20 yards away.

 

 

 

THE NOOSE TIGHTENS

Next thing they knew, the bad guy had left the house and was closing in on Trooper King and his partner. He was armed with a long gun.

King started dragging Steensma to the safety of a patrol car. Ultimately, King picked his partner up and carried him over his shoulders. King makes it to a waiting patrol car and loads his partner inside. Trooper Reed sped off heading to a nearby hospital with Steensma in the back seat.

 

King pivoted and saw the suspect about 60-70 yards out with a rifle pointed at King and his brothers. King unslung his iron-sighted M4 patrol rifle, instantly took up a standing shooting position and fired five shots on the moving suspect. One of those rounds struck the would-be cop killer in the temple, ending the threat.

Thank God for King and his shooting skills. And his bravery. And his willingness to give his own life in the protection of his brothers.

 



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Without doubt, King is due a hero’s reward.

Like most cops in similar situations, King insists he was just doing his job.

Trooper King, you and your crew members are a great credit to yourselves, your training, the Michigan State Police and Street Cops everywhere.

 

THE REWARD – AWARD

On April 26, 2019, the National Patrol Rifle Conference (NPRC) will recognize Trooper King’s valor and excellence by honoring him with the 2019 Jeff Chudwin Patrol Rifle Award.

Trooper King has ensured that the bad guys go to jail and …

The GOOD GUYS go home.

CopBlue applauds you, Trooper King

 

Trooper Cody King

 

At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.

AMERICA

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Further information can be obtained from Jeff Felts, Chairman NPRC, jfelts@centermassinc.com

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