By Danielle Sturgis | October 5 2010 12:05
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.

Without a clear shot, Lawler waited for an opportunity to save the hostage. That opportunity suddenly appeared when the gunman pushed the woman to the ground and raised his shotgun.

Sergeant Lawler instantly fired as the gunman fired his shotgun. The crook was knocked to the ground, wounded, and the hostage was able to escape.

Nearing the criminal's vehicle, Lawler saw two small children in the backseat.

As Sergeant Lawler scanned over the hood of the gunman's car, he saw him on the pavement. The wounded gunman tried to shoot again but Lawler fired three quick shots, killing him.

Sergeant Lawler's coolness under fire is a credit to himself, his department, and his country. He ensured the hostage and her children survived, and no innocent persons were harmed. His calmness, professionalism, and heroism are in keeping with the highest traditions of law enforcement.

Read more about Lawler, and find out about how you can nominate a deserving candidate for the NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

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