Redford Township POA’s Officer Ryan Kensinger, Officer Josh Sutton, and Officer Christopher Pedersen’s Tensions Flare in a Hostage Situation

In March 2022, Officers Ryan Kensinger and Joshua Sutton were dispatched to Plymouth for an assault. The officers discovered distressed occupants seeking help, calmed them down, and promptly escorted the occupants out of the premises. One aggressive occupant insisted on staying within the trailer, who turned out to be a suspect armed with a rifle and held a 5-month-old hostage. Officers Sutton and Kensinger immediately assumed a tactical position based on their assessment of the risky situation, with Sutton negotiating with the suspect.

After a few minutes of failed negotiation, the suspect exited the trailer and raised his weapon at Officer Sutton. Both officers reacted immediately, firing shots to disarm which struck the suspect. The suspect then retreated to the trailer and shut himself inside while still possessing the rifle and child hostage.

Redford Township POA's Officers Kensinger, Sutton, and Pedersen | Police Officer of the Year Awards - May 2023 | POAM
Redford Township POA’s Officers Ryan Kensinger, Christopher Pedersen, Joshua Sutton, and POAM Business Agent Jon Pignataro, with POAM Legislative Director Kenneth E. Grabowski in the back.

Securing the Scene

Officer Christopher Pedersen arrived at the scene with a ballistic shield, assisting Officers Kensinger and Sutton with forcing an entry into the trailer. Backup officers provided cover while the three men stormed the suspect’s hideout. Officers Pedersen and Kensinger were met by a vicious dog at the door that threatened the officers’ safety.

Through swift thinking and teamwork, Officer Kensinger dispatched the dog while Officers Sutton and Pedersen rushed to subdue the suspect, who was still within reach of his rifle. The valiant team successfully placed the dangerous suspect in custody while transferring the child hostage to the care of a medical team in a waiting ambulance. 

The tactical collaboration and systematic approach of Officers Kensinger, Sutton, and Pedersen led to the successful apprehension of an armed suspect without any casualties or injuries to residents. Through the officers’ timely actions, an innocent child was saved from an environment of certain danger. 

About the 2023 Police Officer of the Year Recipients

Officer Ryan Kensinger dedicated most of his adult life to protecting the community, having served four years in the United States Marine Corps before joining law enforcement in 2017. When off-duty, Officer Kensinger spends his time with friends and family at his cottage near Higgins Lake and enjoys boating, four-wheeling, and trying new recipes on his smoker.

Officer Christopher Pedersen dedicated four years of service to the Redford Township Police Department and continues to provide his fellow officers with tireless support. He makes it a personal mission to safeguard community members with uncompromised safety, especially when they need it most. 

Officer Joshua Sutton has over 10½ years in law enforcement, with three years dedicated to the Redford Township Police Department. He was named the 2022 Redford Township Police Officer of the Year. When off-duty, Sutton enjoys supporting his favorite Detroit sports teams and spending quality moments with his family.

The Police Officers Association of Michigan recognizes and rewards uniformed officers who have served as outstanding role models for the community and their peers. Officers Ryan Kensinger, Josh Sutton, and Chris Pedersen of the Redford Township Police Department have demonstrated tremendous bravery and tactical teamwork as they successfully defused a high-risk situation involving an infant hostage. For their courageous efforts and selfless contributions in the face of danger, the Police Officers Association of Michigan presents the three of you with the 2023 Police Officer of the Year Award.

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