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About Us · Awards & Honors

This page is a tribute to the men and women of the Washington State Patrol who have gone above and beyond the call of duty by selflessly placing the safety of others ahead of their own.

Buckingham Award

The Mike Buckingham Award celebrates the survival of a Washington State Patrol employee who has been involved in a critical incident and suffered significant physical injuries. This award is named in honor of Trooper Mike Buckingham, who was severely injured in the line of duty in 1981.

Award Recipients:

Trooper Ron Tuggle – September 13, 2012, in recognition of his courage, dedication and perseverance in returning to full duty in light of suffering severe physical injuries and undergoing significant medical treatment after a duty-related 1994 collision.

Trooper Kelly A. Kalmbach – June 28, 2006, in recognition of her valor, fortitude, and professionalism, despite sustaining severe and disabling injuries during a DUI arrest.

Trooper Mark D. Pederson – April 28, 2002, for his actions, despite sustaining career-ending injuries.

Trooper Ronald J. Kessler – August 7, 2001, for his actions when confronted by an armed violator. When he attempted to disarm the violator, Trooper Kessler was shot in the hand and was forced to respond with appropriate lethal force.

Trooper David J. Bertholf – April 8, 1994, in recognition of his dedication and fortitude to return to full duty in July of 1994, after sustaining life threatening injuries as a result of being struck in his fully marked patrol car by a log truck who had lost control and crossed the centerline.

Award of Honor

The Award of Honor is the highest award presented, recognizing an outstanding act of valor where employees perform a hazardous act at extraordinary risk to their lives.

Award Recipients:

Trooper Brent Dell – August 8, 1999, for heroic actions in attempting to rescue a 14-year-old drowning victim.

Mr. Matthew Scott – October, 1997, for risking his safety in the water to rescue an accident victim.

Trooper Maurice M. Goodall – May 29, 1995, for heroic actions in effecting the rescue of a 12-year-old drowning victim.

Trooper Daniel R. Tindall – June 25, 1993, for actions on the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge where a Department of Transportation employee had been shot at and others threatened.

Sergeant Ronald J. O'Gwin – April 13, 1983, for apprehension of a prisoner and release of 32 hostages in an armed confrontation while under fire.

Trooper Richard B. Hawley – April 13, 1983, for apprehension of a prisoner and release of 32 hostages in an armed confrontation while under fire.

Trooper Michael J. Movius – April 13, 1983, for apprehension of a prisoner and release of 32 hostages in an armed confrontation while under fire.

Trooper Paul S. Beckley – June 12, 1982, while assisting with a hostage taking incident in Mason County Trooper Beckley confronted the suspect who immediately shot Trooper Beckley in the chest. Trooper Beckley returned fire, wounding the suspect. The suspect was then arrested. Trooper Beckley was uninjured due to his body armor protection.

Trooper Paul S. Beckley – June 11, 1979, while attempting to arrest an armed DUI in Mason County, a struggle ensued. Trooper Beckley tripped, falling backward to the ground. The suspect and Trooper Beckley exchanged gunfire. Firing from the ground on his back, Trooper Beckley fatally wounded the suspect. The “Beckley Maneuver” is still taught at the Academy as a defensive tactic.

Deputy Chief Beckley was one of the few Troopers in our agency to have been involved in two lethal encounters during his career.

Trooper William W. McCunn – January 16, 1977, for rescuing four members of a family from the Wenatchee River.

Trooper John T. Mulder – August 2, 1976, for rescuing an elderly man from the Chehalis River.

back to topMedal of Courage

The Medal of Courage is the second highest award presented to an enforcement member who, while performing in the line of duty, is confronted with or involved in an extremely hazardous event in order to accomplish a legitimate police objective.

Medal Recipients:

Trooper John G. Axtman – July 1, 2016, for his courageous actions to deescalate a dangerous armed standoff situation.

Trooper Timothy Gorzynski – August 25, 2016, for his courageous lifesaving actions to prevent serious injury or death of a citizen.

Trooper Andrew Boyer, Trooper Christopher Kyle – June 16, 2014, for their heroic actions to stop an armed man in the middle of traffic.

Trooper Wilhelmina Boxhoorn – February 2, 2011, for her courageous actions, while in extreme personal danger as a suspect attempted to run over her with a stolen vehicle, assisted with the subsequent apprehension of the suspect.

Trooper Anthony Brock –February 2, 2011, for his courageous actions, while in extreme personal danger as a suspect in a stolen vehicle, who had attempted to run over Trooper Boxhoorn, then attempted to back over Trooper Stoeckle, assisted with the subsequent apprehension of the suspect.

Trooper Scott Johnson – February 13, 2010, for his courageous and heroic actions in Long Beach. Trooper Johnson stopped to assist a fellow trooper with a DUI stop when he was ambushed from behind and shot by an unknown male. In a valiant effort, Trooper Johnson took immediate action to protect himself and ensured the safety of the tow truck driver at the scene, in spite of his own personal injuries.

Trooper Troy Giddings –September 2, 2008, for his courageous and heroic actions when shot by a driver who had just killed six people, including a Skagit County Deputy. Although injured, Trooper Giddings used his unmarked patrol vehicle to direct the assailant’s attention to himself and away from fellow troopers during the pursuit.

Trooper Sidney M. Cheek – December 25, 2007, for his courageous action on December 25, 2007, when confronted with a life-threatening attack by an enraged subject on northbound I-5 in Federal Way.

Trooper Kyle C. Witt – November 14, 2006, for his courageous, line of duty performance when faced with a life-threatening situation, to not only save his own life, but the lives of other motorists and witnesses within the immediate vicinity of the incident.

Trooper James R. Hill – November 7, 2005, for his quick thinking and courageous actions when confronted with a life-threatening attack on his life.

Trooper Elliott R. George – August 2002, in recognition of his life-saving efforts to rescue a collision victim from a burning vehicle without regard for his own personal safety.

Trooper Jason M. Linn – February 1999, for courageous actions after being shot by an armed aggressor.

Lieutenant Steven T. Jewell, Sergeant Gregory E. Miller; Troopers Bryant Blake, Darin F. DeRuwe, Mark A. Haas, Joseph A. Maj, Michael S. Murphy, H. Lee Slemp, Richard A. Taylor, and Wayne E. Turner – May 1998, for courage, resolve, and restraint exercised in the face of overwhelming force during the Washington State University riot on May 3, 1998.

Troopers David R. Clifton and Dawn M. Noetzel – August 1998, for heroic actions and risk to personal safety while assisting in the apprehension of an armed, combative suspect on December 20, 1997.

Trooper Charles P. LeBlanc – November 15, 1996, for efforts to safely apprehend a fleeing subject, who during the arrest process, attempted to take Trooper LeBlanc's life, which required Trooper LeBlanc to respond with appropriate lethal force in self-defense.

Sergeant William B. Gardiner – January 27, 1996, for performance in the line of duty during a life-threatening confrontation with an armed suspect.

Trooper Kent H. Hitchings – August 1994, for courageous actions during an incident with an armed, unstable aggressor.

Trooper William R. Clack – April 22, 1993 , in recognition of his courageous actions, without regard for his own safety, to apprehend and extremely dangerous subject, and for saving the life of another law enforcement officer.

Trooper Gary J. Turick – 1987, for heroic actions in the line of duty and risk to personal safety while apprehending a dangerous armed suspect on SR 503.

Award of Merit

The Award of Merit is presented to employees for an act endangering themselves in attempting a life-saving action, preventing a serious crime, or effecting an arrest of a dangerous felon.

View Award of Merit RecipientsAdobe PDF File


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WSP Awards

Three WSP Medal Awards