The Police Officers Association of Michigan honors brave officers who go above and beyond in their line of duty. Each recipient has showcased exemplary courage and bravery to turn around a dangerous situation, including Officer Lee.
While on duty, Officer Chad Lee of the Roseville Police Department successfully intervened in a multi-lane traffic collision, which developed into a dangerous armed situation. Officer Lee bravely subdued a threat of an armed suspect. During this incident,he demonstrated his dedication to public safety and received the 2023 P.O. of the Year Award.
A Collision Between Two Vehicles Takes a Turn
Officer Lee joined the Roseville Police Department in March 2018 with prior experience in the force and started his day like any other Tuesday in April 2022.
In the early morning hours, Officer Lee was inside his police vehicle with his fellow patrol officer when he responded to a call of a traffic incident at Groesbeck Highway near 12 Mile and Martin Road. He drove to the crash scene with his partner and discovered what appeared to be a near head-on collision involving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and a semi-truck.
Nearby civilians approached the vehicles to check on the condition of the affected parties and were put in danger by the pickup truck driver, who wielded a 4-inch knife. Fearlessly, Officer Lee approached the scene to check on the pickup truck driver and asked if he was okay, to which he replied in the negative and advanced towards Officer Lee and his partner. During his approach, he noticed the suspect had a knife in his hand and had self-inflicted injuries. Despite the police team’s repeated commands for the suspect to stop his approach with the weapons, the nearby civilians were at risk due to the driver’s refusal to comply.
As an operator on Roseville Police Department’s Special Response Team and certified de-escalation instructor, he regularly defuses risky situations such as the Groesbeck Highway incident. Supplied this training, Officer Lee was quick to assess the heightening risk; his only concern at the moment was for the safety of the people at the scene. To mitigate the increasing risk, the officer retreated from the driver and discharged a shot from his firearm at the suspect to subdue the suspect and mitigate further harm.
Swift Response in a Life-Threatening Situation
Investigation of body camera footage of the scene determined that Officer Lee acted according to protocol upon assessing the severity of the situation and acted courageously. His courageous actions in the harrowing incident protected himself and his fellow officer at the scene and the nearby civilians. For the selfless act of defense and bravery in safeguarding the community, we, the Police Officers Association of Michigan, present Officer Chad Lee with the 2023 Police Officer of the Year Award.