poam police officer of the yearIn the late afternoon of May 24, 2020, a carjacking was reported in the 200 block of Winchester Street in Monroe. Later, Central Dispatch advised Monroe Officers that the vehicle was seen disabled at N. Ternes and Dixie Highway. At this time, Corporal Renae Peterson of the Monroe Police Department responded with lights and sirens and located the vehicle. The car was occupied and pulled over.

Corporal Renee Peterson Handles Serious Threat From Suspect

When Corporal Peterson made contact with the suspects, the driver seemed to want to cooperate. The passenger however made his way out of the car. The driver placed his hands up and stayed in the driver’s seat with his legs out of the open door of the vehicle, but the passenger then took off in a run. Corporal Peterson immediately accessed the situation, but while this was happening the driver saw an opportunity. The driver reached back into the car for something. Corporal Peterson immediately exited her vehicle and walked along the driver’s side of the patrol car to the rear of the stolen car. The driver had now exited the driver’s side of the vehicle. The suspect made his way around the vehicle. It was at this time Corporal Peterson noticed the driver was now a serious threat, and he was.

The suspect, at a distance of about 15 to 20 feet, did have a handgun and began to fire at Corporal Peterson. The suspect discharged multiple rounds as he closed the distance between himself and Corporal Peterson. He wounded Corporal Peterson and she fell to the ground. However, she remained resilient and unwilling to succumb to her wounds. Corporal Peterson fired back at the suspect forcing him to run away from the scene.

Officer Seth Gonyea and Lieutenant Dan Clanton Provide Backup and Aid to Corporal Peterson


The gunfight between Corporal Peterson and the suspect resulted in her receiving life-threatening injuries. Fortunately, Officer Seth Gonyea and Lieutenant Dan Clanton, of the Monroe Police Department, also had responded to the original dispatch call and were immediately able to perform first aid on Corporal Peterson. It undoubtedly saved her life. The suspects were located a short time later and taken into custody without further incident. Corporal Peterson is still recovering from her injuries.

Teamwork and an immediate law enforcement response to this carjacking allowed the incident to come to a conclusion without the loss of life of Corporal Peterson and resulted in the capture of the suspects. All officers involved deserve recognition for their roles in this case.

For your bravery and exceptional police work, the Police Officers Association of Michigan presents you with the 2020 Police Officers of the Year Awards.

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