|This prestigious award is presented annually to a police officer who has overcome a handicap, as Theodore Roosevelt triumphed over the physical handicaps of his youth, and who continues to render outstanding service to his/her police department, as Roosevelt did in his years as president of the Board of Police Commissioners of New York City. The award is presented annually in Western New York, New York City, Long Island, Boston, Dallas, Nashville, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. This year’s recipient is New York State Trooper Sean Pierce.|
Trooper Pierce has served in the New York State Police since 1998. He is a Field Training Officer, a member of the Mobile Field Unit and a K-9 Handler. Trooper Pierce was injured during a deadly physical force incident earlier in his career as well as being seriously injured during a more recent training exercise. In 2006, Trooper Pierce was dragged, and eventually dislodged, from an all-terrain vehicle while attempting to arrest the operator. He feared for his life as he was battered and bruised due to the suspect’s refusal to stop the vehicle. He had no other choice than to use deadly force in an attempt to save his own life. Unfortunately, the operator died from his injuries but Trooper Pierce survived and eventually recovered from his injuries. He returned to active duty and continued to perform at an exemplary level. He was selected as a K-9 handler in 2011, a testament to his dedication and work ethic.
In 2015, Trooper Pierce was participating in a K-9 training exercise and was outfitted in a “bite suit” as he assumed the role of a perpetrator. During the exercise, he was bitten by another State Police K-9 and incurred a severe and potentially crippling ligament/muscle tear to his left leg. The injury required extensive surgery followed by a significant period of healing and physical therapy. He eventually returned to full active duty nearly a year after the attack. Trooper Pierce resumed his K-9 role and was selected to receive enhanced K-9 training that allowed for his attachment to the State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT). The SORT team undergoes a rigorous training regimen to prepare the members for high risk operations. They provide tactical response to critical events and other specialized assignments such as counter terrorism, disaster relief, hostage rescue, violent felony arrests, high risk search warrants and search and rescue operations. Throughout his career, Trooper Pierce has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to actively enforcing the Vehicle & Traffic Law, conducting thorough criminal investigations and removing dangerous drugs and intoxicated drivers from our communities. He has received numerous awards and letter of commendation for his praiseworthy contributions to several high profile and significant investigations, incidents and events.
Trooper Pierce is a graduate of East Aurora High School. He studied criminal justice at SUNY The College at Brockport before joining the State Police and is currently assigned to the SP Holland Satellite Office. Trooper Pierce resides in East Aurora with his wife and three children.
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