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Jaime Solis, Richland Police Department

2016 Class
Awarded on: 10/28/2017
Public Safety Medal of Merit

On March 24, 2016, Major Solis and members of the Tri-County Fire Protection District responded to a residence with a suicidal person. A distraught man was shaking uncontrollably as he held a pistol under his chin. Major Solis is a trained negotiator, but the man would not respond. Solis continued to engage with calm dialogue from his position at a doorway. Eventually, the gunman requested two firefighters exit the area, which they did, leaving only Solis and the gunman. Still unable to engage him, Solis went against his training and entered the gunman’s room. The major’s plan was to forcibly disarm him if negotiations failed. After 90 minutes, the gunman began to discuss his issues. Relying on his training, Major Solis continued to engage the gunman and eventually got him to surrender his weapon, which had a round in the chamber. At great risk to himself, Major Solis inserted himself into a dangerous position with a distraught gunman, and successfully resolved the situation.

Derek Chism, Brian Hollensteiner, Audrain County Sheriff’s Office and Austin Kings, Missouri State H

2016 Class
Awarded on: 11/28/2017
Public Safety Medal of Merit

On Oct. 1, 2016, Sgt. Hollensteiner, Corporal Chism and Trooper Austin Kings responded to an apartment complex in Farber, Mo. During a canvass of the complex, a resident said the problem could be in the apartment next door. Chism remained to get more information. Two women were inside the apartment in question, and sensing trouble, Hollensteiner and Chism asked to enter the apartment. Once inside, they were confronted by a man with a shotgun. The officers ordered him to drop the gun, but the gunman fired. Hollensteiner and Kings returned fire, striking the gunman. Chism radioed for assistance and all three officers provided first aid until EMS arrived. The gunman, who was a convicted murderer who had recently been released from prison, recovered and will stand trial.

Thomas Lake, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

2016 Class
Awarded on: 10/28/2017
Public Safety Medal of Merit

On the evening on Nov. 20, 2016, Sgt. Lake was in a marked police S-U-V, stopped at a traffic light in south St. Louis. A motorist pulled alongside and the driver indicated he needed assistance. Lake lowered his driver’s window. The driver then immediately fired two shots from a handgun with an extended magazine, hitting Sergeant Lake twice in the face. Despite being critically wounded, Lake was able to contact dispatch, communicate his location and then provide responding officers with a description of the gunman and his vehicle. The information helped identify the gunman and the vehicle. Later that day, officers located the gunman, who was killed in an exchange of gunfire. An investigation revealed he had been on a two-week crime spree and was wanted for murder and several armed assaults. Despite being critically wounded, Lake played a critical role in protecting fellow officers and the public by providing information resulting in locating the gunman who posed grave danger to the community.