Governor Scott Walker presented special awards to 21 members of the Wisconsin State Patrol for saving lives and other exemplary service on Wednesday, October 2, at the State Capitol in Madison.
State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald said, “All members of the State Patrol make our highways and communities safer through their professional and tireless dedication to traffic and public safety. But the members of the State Patrol who received special awards have demonstrated exceptional expertise and courage under extremely stressful conditions. They were nominated for their awards by their fellow members of the State Patrol for actions that go above and beyond their normal duties.”
Troopers Trent P. Betley of Hudson and Robert W. Unruh of Glenwood City (Meritorious Service Awards) —Trooper Trent Betley and Trooper Robert Unruh responded to a call of a suicidal subject at a rural area in St. Croix County on September 22, 2012. A female reported that her husband had come home intoxicated and ordered her and their two teenage children out of the home. The husband was armed and had fired a shot in the air. Troopers Unruh and Betley met four St. Croix County sheriff’s deputies at the end of the home’s driveway. As the officers approached the residence on foot, Trooper Betley was on point with night vision goggles to monitor and provide a clearer view of the residence. Trooper Unruh was the guide officer in the stack formation. Trooper Betley observed the male subject sitting on the porch steps with a rifle. The officers could hear the rifle being loaded. The officers retreated to their cruisers to take up secure positions. Shortly thereafter, the subject walked down the driveway armed with the rifle. Trooper Betley ordered the subject to “drop the weapon” several times. The subject aimed the rifle at the officers and fired multiple shots. The officers returned fire, which fatally injured the subject. Troopers Betley and Unruh performed professionally and made every effort to keep the public safe while they faced grave dangers. For their courageous actions, Trooper Betley and Trooper Unruh of the Northwest Region—Eau Claire Post each received the Meritorious Service Award.