Off-duty reserve deputy with Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department saves untold lives from knife attack

2014 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Mark Vaughan

Fairfax, Virginia - The National Rifle Association is proud to announce the selection of Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Vaughan as its 2014 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

On September 24, 2014, an employee of a commercial food distributor in Moore, Oklahoma, was suspended for the violation of work rules and harassment of employees. After initially leaving the office, he returned with an 8-inch long serrated knife and crashed his vehicle into a car parked in front of the business. He then entered the main office and attacked Colleen Hufford, the first employee he came upon, and murdered her by decapitation.

Hearing screams from the attack, Mark Vaughan, CEO of the business and an off-duty Reserve Deputy with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department, took action. Quickly evaluating the tactical needs of the incident, he retrieved his Patrol Rifle and sought out the suspect.

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Heroic actions saved the lives of civilians and his fellow officers

Christopher Shine
North Liberty Iowa Police Department, NRA's 2013 Officer of the Year As we ready for the 2014 National Police Shooting Championships, the we highlight NRA's 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year ...

On March 10, 2013, North Liberty Iowa Police Department officers were dispatched to a 911 domestic violence call. The caller heard screaming and witnessed a male jumping on a woman’s car and yelling. It was not their first call to this address.

Approaching the mobile home, officers located a woman, crying, with obvious signs of being assaulted. She was in the process of moving out when her boyfriend attacked. She informed the officers that her boyfriend had planned to remove his pistol from the trailer earlier in the day. He should be alone in the trailer.

Officers made their way up a ramp leading to the front door. There was little room to maneuver. Soon they made contact.

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Shot in the leg and hand, Pearl City Detective McCarley keeps head and stops attack

Detective David McCarley of the City of Pearl Mississippi Police Department Pearl City, Mississippi - It's a dangerous job.

One that thousands of men and women take on every day. It's the job of America's law enforcement officers.

Never knowing what's around the corner, they put their lives in danger every day. Every time they walk through a door, perform a traffic stop or serve a warrant, there's a chance that things can go wrong. That was the case in Pearl City, Mississippi when Detective David McCarley joined a group of fellow detectives to apprehend a sexual predator.

For his actions that day, Detective McCarley has been named the NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2012.

More on the 2012 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year ...

Fairfax, Virginia - David Keene, President of the National Rifle Association, provides the following thoughts as the NRA announces their selection for the 2011 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year:

2011 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Deputy Michael Zack of the Cecil County, Maryland Sherriff's department
2011 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Deputy Michael Zack
Each year we honor a law enforcement officer whose valor, professionalism and willingness to risk everything to protect the citizens and community of which he or she is a part.

This year we are proud to honor Deputy Michael Zack of the Cecil County, Maryland Sherriff's department. Zack's willingness to risk his own life to come to the aid of a fellow officer, though he wasn't even on duty at the time of the incident, exemplifies the professionalism of our nation's best law enforcement officers who view their role in American society as a sacred trust entered into when they were sworn in as protectors of their community and its citizens. His fellow Deputy may well be alive today because of Michael Zack's heroism and for that he must be grateful. All of us should be just as grateful that there are men and women in this country like Zack willing to selflessly put themselves in harm's way to enforce our society's laws and provide the security essential to a free society.


Arkansas Game & Fish Wildlife Officer Michael Neal, NRA's 2010 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year on NRAblog The NRA’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, established in 1993, acknowledges an exceptional act or service by an American law enforcement officer. This year, NRA's Law Enforcement Division recognizes the actions of Arkansas Game & Fish Wildlife Officer Michael Neal.

On Thursday, May 20, 2010, West Memphis Arkansas Police officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans were brutally murdered while conducting a routine traffic stop. The suspects’ mini-van was located in shopping center parking lot. Crittenden County Arkansas Sheriff Dick Busby and Chief Deputy Wren blocked in the vehicle and immediately came under fire.

Spotting the gunfight, Arkansas Game & Fish Wildlife Officer Michael Neal readied his patrol rifle and rammed the suspects’ vehicle. More than a dozen rounds pierced Officer Neal's windshield, dashboard, and grill. He returned fire (through the windshield,) emptying a full 30 round magazine from his rifle. Out of ammunition, Neal withdrew, exited his vehicle, and took position alongside the more than 30 other officers who arrived upon the scene.

The encounter ended within minutes. During that time, more than 260 rounds were exchanged and both criminals were dead. With the exception of the first officers shot by the gunmen, no other officers or bystanders were injured.

“Officer Neal is a prime example of what a heroic and dedicated Law Enforcement officer does in the line of duty,” said NRA President Ron Schmeits. “Officer Neal proceeded to protect a fellow officer, that could have been anyone, you - me, but he risked his life to protect another. Congratulations to Officer Neal for his commitment to Law and Order and for being selected as the 2010 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.”

If you would like to nominate a candidate for the 2011 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, you can call 703-267-1649, send email to, or visit Entry forms must be received by October 15, 2011. Nominations may be submitted by the nominee’s agency head or by an NRA member. Nominations must also be endorsed by an NRA Life Member.

NRA Law Enforcement Division 50th Anniversary Commemorative Badge

The NRA has a long history of supporting police men and women. "NRA’s relationship with the nations law enforcement community is an enduring one, reaching back through generations of lawmen and women," said Glen Hoyer, Director of NRA Law Enforcement Division.

Hoyer's division is responsible for the NRA's Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award, given annually to a policeman or woman chosen from select nominations.

Established in 1993, the award is based on exceptional valor, public service, and dedication to the principals of our constitutional heritage.

Nominations are accepted from anyone having knowledge of the nominee’s actions. This includes, but is not limited to, the nominee’s agency head, other law enforcement officials, elected officials, fellow officers, community leaders, interested citizens, and NRA members.

For eligibility information, award categories, and complete information, view the NRA Officer of the Year Nomination Form.

Nominations for the 2010 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award must be received by October 15. You may call 703-267-1649 or send an e-mail to for more information.

The Law Enforcement Activities Division celebrates the 50th anniversary of its training department this year. The badge pictured at right honors this accomplishment.

David Lawler honored as 2009 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Sergeant David Lawler & NRA Law Enforcement Director Glen Hoyer at the 2010 NPSC Awards Banquet in Albuquerque, NM.

The NRA Law Enforcement Division established their Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award in 1993. It's based on exceptional valor, public service, and dedication to the principals of our constitutional heritage.

At the 2010 NRA National Police Shooting Championships, Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson presented the award to Linn County (Oregon) Sheriffs Department's David Lawler. As the NRA's 2009 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Lawler will receive a Smith & Wesson pistol and a custom-made ballistic vest from Velocity Systems.

"Smith & Wesson have been longtime friends of the NRA’s Law Enforcement Division,” Robinson said. "We thank both Smith & Wesson and Velocity Systems for their support of the NRA and of our police officers and military."

Robinson briefed the NPSC audience on Lawler's heroic actions:

On February 16, 2008, Sgt. Dave Lawler was assigned to handle a complaint of a man, armed with a shotgun, screaming in the middle of the street.

Sergeant Lawler found the man, with shotgun in hand, yelling and screaming, while wrestling a young girl he was dragging toward the front of a convenience store. Sergeant Lawler ordered the gunman to drop the shotgun. He wouldn't do it. The gunman continued to fight with the young woman with his shotgun pointed at her head. More

Kayne Robinson and Phillip Hemphill

Captain Phillip Hemphill, 10-time NRA National Police Shooting Champion and the 2007 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, was spotted several times at the 2010 Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show.

Finally cornered at the Rock River Arms booth, the gentle giant of a champion agreed to a brief interview with NRAblog. Hemphill has been to five SHOT Shows, and he said the 2010 show was positive. “Traffic has been off the charts, and it looks like it’s that way for everybody in the rifle business (on the show’s exhibit hall),” he said.

Hemphill, who serves as the instructor for his department’s Police Academy, assured us his “fully capable, dependable assistant” was managing the range in his absence. NRAblog snuck in a comment about the upcoming 2011 National Police Shooting Championships, hoping Hemphill would divulge his plans. “I have no idea,” was the response. An 11th title might look awfully nice, we pointed out. “It’s still a long time out,” he responded. “I just don’t know.”

We tried a different angle. “Well, maybe you should retire … Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz would appreciate the chance to reclaim the NPSC title.”

“Vadasz always says he shoots better when I’m there,” he said. [Vadasz won in 2008 when Hemphill stepped back from the line, and narrowly lost to Hemphill upon his 2009 return. The two are friends.] “Anything to help that boy out,” he grinned.

Stay tuned for more on Hemphill’s next move. For now, it’s back to Mississippi, sharing his knowledge with the next generation of law enforcement officers.

The National Rifle Association selected Officer Timothy Stringer of Ferguson Township Police Department of Pennsylvania, a 21-year veteran of law enforcement and NRA life member, as the 2008 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for courageous actions taken on July 25, 2008.

On Friday, July 25, 2008 an armed man entered an auto dealership with a loaded shotgun and demanded money.  The suspect stated that he had returned to Pennsylvania from Wyoming where he had burned two buildings, was a victim of conspiracy, and that law enforcement authorities refused to take his calls so he was going to a local radio station to “get on the air”.  The suspect left the dealership and Ferguson Township Police were notified of the incident and the suspect’s statement about going to the radio station. Officer Timothy Stringer and two other officers arrived at the radio station prior to the suspect and took up positions of surveillance. Shortly thereafter the suspect arrived and entered the radio station parking lot.


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