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Salem Police Department announces 2021 Officer of the Year

2021 Officer of the Year Jonathan Detzler
2021 Officer of the Year Jonathan Detzler(Salem Police Department)
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 2:03 PM EST
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - The Salem Police Department says Jonathan Detzler has been named the 2021 Officer of the Year.

“Jonathan has been a member of the department for less than three years, but in that short time he has made a favorable impression on everyone he has encountered,” says Mike Crawley, Salem Police Chief. “He has a great understanding of service to others, and it is very apparent that he genuinely cares about people and wants to help them.”

Detzler was working the Salem Fair the night of June 30, 2021, when a juvenile in the crowd started shooting. He got a description of the suspect to officers and keep up with the juvenile as he made his way through fairgoers, who were entering the midway. His actions allowed police to capture the suspect before he left the grounds and secured the weapon used in the shooting.

“I didn’t realize how bad the incident could have been until we did our debriefing meeting,” he says. “I wish I could tell you why I didn’t hesitate, but I think my training and instincts just took over. I feel very fortunate that he did not shoot at me and that I did not have to draw my gun on a juvenile.”

Two people were injured in the shooting and new safety measures were put in place on the fairgrounds. The criminal case was adjudicated in Salem Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

“Salem can take great pride in having Jonathan serving in our community,” says Crawley. “He always tries to set the right type of example for others, and he is someone who joined this profession for all of the right reasons.”

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