Jason C. Gamm, Rick L. Shannon and Wesley W. Teague nominated by the Trenton Police Department

On June 14, 2019, Trenton Police Department Officer Jasmine E. Diab was transporting a prisoner to a mental health evaluation. During transport, near Winston, Mo., the prisoner assaulted Officer Diab, and in a struggle the officer was shot in the abdomen and the prisoner was shot in the hand. The prisoner tried to take control of the vehicle and, positioned on top of the officer, attempted to drive away from the scene. Officer Diab continued to fight the prisoner. Several passing civilian motorists realized the officer was in extreme danger. Jason Gamm and Rick Shannon heard one of the gunshots. Shannon retrieved a gun from his vehicle and gave it to Gamm. Gamm and Wesley Teague approached the rear of the police vehicle. Gamm carefully moved around the vehicle to the driver’s door and managed to pull the prisoner from the vehicle. The prisoner continued to fight. At this point, Teague grabbed the prisoner’s legs with his arms. Shannon assisted holding him on the ground. All three civilians held the prisoner until law enforcement arrived and took him into custody. Officer Diab was hospitalized and continues to recover. There is no doubt that if not for the heroic actions of Gamm, Shannon and Teague, who acted without concern for their own safety, Officer Diab might have been killed.

Thomas E. Hutsler II, nominated by the Platte County Sheriff’s

On July 9, 2019, Thomas Hutsler was at a motor vehicle licensing office in Kansas City, in Platte County, when there was a commotion at the counter. A woman in a loud threatening voice told a clerk, “What do I need to do, show you my gun?” As she stormed out of the office past Hutsler, he overheard her say, “You haven’t seen the last of me.” Recognizing the danger, Hutsler instructed his son to remain inside as he headed to the parking lot. Hutsler then observed the woman pull a handgun out of her handbag. She fired the gun in the parking lot and then headed for the license office. Hutsler blocked the office door and told her she was not reentering the building. During a verbal confrontation, the woman brandished her weapon before placing it back in her bag and heading toward her vehicle. Hutsler warned other people in the parking lot to beware of the armed woman. The license office went on lockdown. Hutsler started his truck and maneuvered it to block the woman’s car. At this point, an off-duty officer drew his gun and, when the woman exited her vehicle, he ordered her to get on the ground. Hutsler used the officer’s phone to relay the events to a dispatcher. The woman refused the officer’s commands; Hutsler got behind her, wrapped his arms around her and took her to the ground. Kansas City Police soon arrived. Police say the woman’s gun was loaded with a bullet in the chamber. In a highly dangerous situation in a public area with many lives in the balance, Thomas Hutsler acted with fearlessness and daring to protect his fellow citizens from harm.

James W. Whitley II and Robert J. Whitley, nominated by Missouri State Highway Patrol

On the evening of Aug. 3, 2019, a pontoon boat was floating down the Mississippi River near Hannibal with seven people aboard. A tow rope had become wrapped around the boat’s propeller, causing the motor to fail. The boat floated in front of four raked barges moored on the Illinois side of the river. Cousins James and Robert Whitley were upstream in a 20-foot jon boat with a 75-horsepower engine when they noticed the pontoon was in distress and immediately set out to help. When they were about 100 yards away, the pontoon hit a barge and capsized. Some of the occupants were in the water, others were clinging to the barge as best they could. The Whitleys entered the very dangerous area in front of the barges. They threw a life jacket to a man in the water and next recued a two-year-old child. Carefully maneuvering their small boat in and out of the danger zone, they rescued three more people who were clinging to the barge. As they fought the current, the jon boat twice almost capsized. They pulled a lifeless body from the water and administered CPR, to no avail. By now, the person they had thrown a life jacket to had been rescued downstream by a tow boat. The body of a second deceased victim was recovered the next day. On the dangerous Mississippi River, fighting the current, swirling water and debris in a small, lightweight boat, James and Robert Whitley, acted quickly, selflessly and with undaunted courage, placing themselves in harm’s way and saving the lives of five people.