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Putnamville State Troopers honored at ceremony

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Personnel from the Putnamville District of the Indianapolis State Police recently honored for their efforts on duty include (from left) Trooper Ted Robertson, Master Trooper Todd Brown, ISP Assistant Superintendent Col. Richard Weigand, Trooper Brandon Mullen, Trooper Brian Thomas, Terre Haute Police Det. Larry Manley and Sgt. Joe Watts.
PUTNAMVILLE -- Several Putnamville troopers were honored recently as the Indiana State Police Department conducted an awards ceremony to recognize troopers, detectives and civilians from around the state for their dedication to service, bravery and devotion to the department and citizens of the state.

The awards were presented by ISP Supt. Paul Whitesell.

The Indiana State Police Post at Putnamville had six award recipients.

Troopers Brandon Mullen and Ted Robertson were awarded the Silver Star for the actions Aug. 17, 2011.

While patrolling Interstate-70 near the 30-milemarker in Putnam County, the troopers came upon a serious crash involving two tractor-trailers.

They immediately noticed one driver appeared to be trapped after the dashboard area collapsed on the upper part of his legs.

Mullen and Robertson were assisting EMS with first aid and extrication of the conscious driver when the cab began to fill with smoke.

The troopers ran to their commissions and retrieved fire extinguishers while directing bystanders to do the same.

Robertson climbed onto the passenger steps of the cab and sprayed all available fire extinguishers into the cab area, as did Mullen who was in the interior cab area.

The fiberglass truck cab began to shift and deteriorate from the fire, causing Mullen and Robertson to abandon their efforts to save the driver. The driver died in the fire despite the efforts of the troopers.

Robertson and Mullen are both six-year veterans of ISP.

Trooper Brian Thomas was awarded the Combat Action Award for his actions Jan. 15, 2012, after responding to a Putnam County Sheriff's Office request for assistance with a reported suicidal male at a residence near Cloverdale.

Once on the scene, officers determined the man had barricaded himself inside a bathroom and appeared to be cutting himself.

As the officers attempted to get the suspect to open the door and come out peacefully, the man suddenly opened the door and with knives in hand, charged Trooper Thomas and the remaining officers.

Thomas unholstered his sidearm and fired three rounds at the charging man, as did other officers. The man ultimately died from his wounds.

The Putnam County Prosecutor's Officer determined "that the shooting was justified and all officers acted in self-defense and defense of others."

Thomas is an 18-month veteran of the department.

Trooper Brandon Mullen was also presented one of the department's Life Awards for 2011 as the top DUI enforcement officer for the Putnamville District.

In 2011, Mullen arrested 95 impaired drivers and was commended for his efforts in eradicating impaired drivers from the roadways and reducing the number of traffic deaths related to impaired driving.

Mullen was previously awarded the ISP Life Award for top DUI enforcement in 2009 and 2010.

Mullen is a six-year veteran of the force.

Master Trooper Todd Brown was recognized as the 2011 Trooper of the Year for the Putnamville District.

Brown was selected for this award by the command staff at the post as they recognized Brown's traffic and criminal enforcement efforts, community involvement and services performed above the department's normal expectation.

His award states, "Presented in recognition for high levels of service, dedication and professionalism exemplified in service to the citizens of Indiana and the Indiana State Police."

Brown is a 17-year veteran of ISP.

ISP Sgt. Joe Watts, the Putnamville public information officer, and Terre Haute City Police Det. Larry Manley also received the Commendation Award, which is awarded to an employee or citizen for extraordinary conduct and exemplary professionalism.

The awards ceremony was conceived by Whitesell with the first ceremony taking place in February 2006.

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