Please tell this officer’s story of how they saved a life or showed exemplary service in the field. Including why this officer should receive a RISE Award.
On April 7th, 2021, Police Officer Zachariah Fierle responded to a fight involving two females, one of which was in possession of a knife. Upon his arrival, the two females were not physically fighting, but were still verbally engaging each other in an aggressive manner. The females were approximately two feet apart and one of the females was in fact holding a knife in her right hand. This incident unfolded on a front lawn of a very busy, populated street, during daylight hours.
Officer Fierle immediately drew his service weapon and began assessing the situation. He calmly, but expeditiously approached the two females. Upon the arrival of a backup officer, and realizing the females were not physically engaging, he quickly transitioned to his Taser. Officer Fierle gave clear, concise commands to drop the knife. The female briefly hesitated, but dropped the knife and then stepped away per Police Officer Fierle’s instructions. As the backup officer approached, Police Officer Fierle had the presence of mind to quickly advise him that the female had dropped the knife, thus defusing the situation. He then coordinated the scene, briefed supervision and ensured the incident was handled appropriately.
Police Officer Fierle arrived at a precarious incident, in full view of the public, which could have ended with a negative outcome. Instead, his composure, professionalism, and ability to deescalate the situation led to a positive interaction. Police Officer Fierle, not only took immediate control of this potentially violent scene, but also treated both females like human beings as soon as the danger subsided.
In a time where the police are being heavily scrutinized by the public, Police Officer Fierle displayed exactly how police can interact with citizens in a positive light, remain calm yet forceful, be compassionate yet safe. It is my recommendation that Officer Fierle be commended for his outstanding performance.