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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Joe Tortorella
TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Tortorella has been selected as one of four finalists for the 2015 IACP/ Target Police Officer of the Year, the Sheriff's Office announced today.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police partners with Target to recognize exemplary performance in professional policing from law enforcement agencies both domestically and internationally. As the most prestigious law enforcement award of the IACP, the Police Officer of the Year Award recognizes outstanding and heroic achievement among police officers across the globe and highlights the sacrifices made daily by law enforcement’s finest.

On April 17, Deputy Tortorella responded to a 911 hang-up call at a residence in Wheatfield. While investigating the source of the 911 call, Deputy Tortorella was confronted by an armed male who had just shot both his parents. During a lengthy shootout with the suspect, Deputy Tortorella was struck by a bullet in the chest.

The residence in Wheatfield was located next to an elementary school which was in session at the time of the incident. During the gun fight, Deputy Tortorella called dispatch over his radio to alert the school to lock-down. When the suspect, who was shot three times, ran back behind the house, Deputy Tortorella ran towards the school to place himself between the school and the suspect.

IACP Executive Director Vincent Talucci wrote in a letter to Deputy Tortorella, “Your response to a dangerous situation is an example of what it means to make sacrifices for your community and to display impeccable bravery. Your quick thinking to both neutralize the threat and lock down the school exemplify how much you care about the community. On behalf of the law enforcement community, IACP commends you for your outstanding actions.”

Deputy Tortorella and three other finalists will be recognized at the Ninth Annual IACP Foundation Gala at the IACP Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois on October 24. During the Gala, one of the four officers will be selected as “Police Officer of the Year.” Deputy Tortorella will also be recognized by the IACP First General Assembly and he will be featured in an article in Police Chief Magazine.


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