Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to make our communities safe.
But sometimes — help from the public can make or break a situation.
Every year the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department gives the Guardian Angel Award to people who put themselves in harms way, to help an officer in need.
Renee Cooper introduces us to Chris Hulm and Robby Aldrich, the recipients of this year’s awards.
Aside from his time at work, Robby Aldrich enjoys spending his time at home with his wife and daughter.
One evening in July he came home to an unwelcome surprise.
“I heard tires squealing,” Aldrich says.
We won’t show his house for safety reasons…
But, Aldrich witnessed several people get out of a vehicle, in an attempt to escape officers.
“I ran after the guy that went behind my house. Then, noticed one of the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department cut me off and I turned around and went after the other people.”
Chris Hulm is no stranger to police work.
The second award went to the Former Burleigh County Dentention Officer.
“At that time I observed an inmate in stripes fleeing,” former officer Chris Hulm said.
Hulm was driving near the courthouse, when he saw a deputy chasing the prisoner, so he parked his vehicle, got out and helped detain him.
“I’ve been in positions like that before where it’s just me.”
Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department Corporal Jared Lemieux says he was called to assist that day.
Jared Lemieux, Corporal BCSD added “And it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, thank God’. You know, because in a situation like that you have no idea with someone trying to escape prison time.”
Both Aldrich and Hulm say– it was just instinct.
Aldrich said “Tried to help get them caught, because we can’t have people running around harming people like that.””It’s just kind of the law enforcement thing to do, the brotherhood. I guess there’s no other way to look at it. It was the right thing to do, the only thing to do I thought,” says Hulm.
Corporal Lemieux says it puts his mind at ease, knowing there are people out there willing to help.
However, he adds– law enforcement goes through a lot of training before going out on duty…
His best advice — be cautious.
If you notice an officer in distress, make sure to observe first before jumping in.