Police Officer of the Year Awards
Officer Joseph Stephens
Helping others isn’t just a police officer’s duty – it’s an innate trait that keeps communities, including other law enforcement officers, protected. Without hesitation, Officer Joseph Stephens assisted and protected fellow police officers from danger due to this quality.
During the early morning hours of Friday, May 13, 2018, the Dearborn Heights Police Department dispatched two officers to conduct a welfare check around the area of Warren and Telegraph. When the officers arrived, they observed a male subject holding a rifle. The subject began to flee from them as the officers approached him, starting a foot pursuit.
Officer Stephens, also on duty at the time, was patrolling his assigned area on the south side of the city. After hearing of the pursuit through dispatch, he rushed to help the other two officers. When he arrived, Officer Stephens found cover to inspect the situation at hand.
Officer Stephens noticed the subject pointing his rifle in the direction of the two officers. He instructed the subject to drop the weapon. When the subject didn’t respond, Officer Stephens used his vast tactical knowledge to discharge his own weapon and eliminated the threat that was an immediate danger to himself and the other officers on site.
POAM member Officer Stephens’ immediate and precise response saved many lives during this incident.
We, the Police Officers Association of Michigan, salute Officer Joseph Stephens for his bravery and alacrity. We are proud to present the 2019 Police Officer of the Year Award to this Dearborn Heights Police officer.