Lakewood Police Officers Receive Medal of HonorOctober 08, 2019
At last night’s City Council meeting, Lakewood Police Officers Ron Bunner and Jakub Mejstrik were presented with the Medal of Honor for their heroic work this summer. The Medal of Honor is awarded by the Lakewood Police Department for individual acts of extraordinary bravery performed in the line of duty at extreme risk and danger to life.
Officer Bunner and Mejstrik were awarded the Medal of Honor for assisting a male in crisis on the roof of the Berkshire Condominiums on July 12th, 2019. Utilizing their Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) skills, the officers spent over 40 minutes on the roof communicating with the individual. When communication faltered, the officers successfully executed a rescue plan which prevented the suicide attempt and remedied the situation successfully getting the individual to the appropriate treatment resources.
“We all would have done the same thing,” said Officer Bunner. “The whole situation worked out the way that it did because of the amount of training that we receive. It was so helpful to have another CIT trained officer in Officer Mejstrik on the shift. We were both on the same page.”
CIT provides law enforcement-based crisis intervention training for helping individuals with mental illness. The implementation of CIT in Lakewood has enabled the safety of all persons on the scene of a mental health crisis, including the person in crisis, their families, and the officers.
“As soon as we stopped him, he kept thanking us,” said Officer Mejstrick. “CIT works.”
A video of the incident shot from their body-worn cameras featuring their heroic work will be presented at the City Council meeting. Watch the video here .
“Officers Bunner and Mejstrik exemplified the goals of the Lakewood Police Department and CIT on July 12th,” said Chief Malley. “Their ability to remain calm under extremely stressful circumstances, think clearly about the safety of the subject and their own safety, and bring the event to a safe conclusion for all speaks highly to their training and character. All the members of the Lakewood Police Department are proud of these officer actions.”
“We were all gasping at how close they were to the edge. I know I speak for our entire community when I say how grateful we are that you were able to help this citizen,” said Mayor Summers. “I know that all of our officers if called to duty, would step forward. So, on behalf of all of our Lakewood Police, I say thank you one and all.”