The Police Officers Association of Michigan recognizes officers who rise above tense and dangerous situations, risking their lives to protect their fellow officers and the community they vowed to serve.
His quick thinking and willingness to risk his life ended a car chase that could’ve turned deadly. He gave his fellow officers precious time to capture the dangerous suspect and bring him to justice. For that, Calhoun County’s Lieutenant Adam Mattens is one of our Police Officer of the Year Award recipients.
Lieutenant Mattens Pursues a Suspect
On December 22nd, 2021, at around 1422 hours, Lieutenant Mattens of Calhoun County was on duty when he heard via radio traffic that the Albion Department of Public Safety Officers were in pursuit of an unplated black BMW driven by an armed man. When Lieutenant Mattens heard the suspect was going westbound in his direction, he activated his fully marked patrol car’s overhead emergency light. He attempted to get into the best position to assist his fellow officers.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to stop him, Officer Vanderbilt, who was one of the officers in pursuit, got permission from Sergeant Bacik to deploy spike strips to deflate the suspect’s tires to slow him down.
Unfortunately, the suspect was able to maneuver around the spikes. In avoiding the spikes, he lost control of the car and ended up in a gutter. Determined to escape, he regained control of the vehicle. As the suspect got back on the road, he struck an Albion patrol car, but luckily no one got hurt.
Technology Helps to Find the Suspect
Lieutenant Mattens, who was still in his position, listened to the radio. He heard dispatch say the suspect fired on the pursuing officers during the 120 miles per hour ongoing chase. The suspect’s black BMW exited at mile marker 100 and headed north toward the city of Battle Creek.
In Battle Creek, Lieutenant Mattens, traveling eastbound on Columbia Avenue, saw the suspect’s car approach the section of Main Street and Columbia Avenue. At that point, he joined the chase and pulled behind multiple patrol vehicles already in pursuit.
The black BMW turned westbound on Main Street with the other officers in hot pursuit. Lieutenant Mattens didn’t follow but instead attempted to get into a better position to assist. He drove southbound on Willow Street, approaching Oak Hill Drive.
He listened intently on the radio and heard the suspect had turned eastbound on Oak Hill. Then, he knew Oak Hill dead ends into Willow Street, and the suspect would be forced to turn northbound on Willow. Because there was no traffic during that time, he could see the black BMW hurtling toward him with the officers in pursuit.
The chase turned deadly. In a split-second decision, Lieutenant Mattens decided to use his patrol vehicle to force the suspect vehicle off the roadway. He rammed his car into the driver’s side of the vehicle. The impact forced the vehicle to a telephone pole on the passenger side, disabling it and ending the harrowing car chase.
The suspect was unharmed but didn’t surrender. The suspect attempted to evade capture and got out of the car. The other officers pursued the suspect and eventually subdued the suspect with no civilian or police casualties.
Thank you, Lieutenant Mattens
We present Lieutenant Adam Mattens with the 2022 Police Officer of the Year Award for your extensive efforts to protect your community.