We believe that the courageous and often selfless decisions of police officers serve as the beacon of guiding light that keeps families and society safe from unpredictable dangers that can happen in an instant. In these times of uncertainty, a person’s true nature comes to the forefront, demonstrating the lengths officers like Sergeant Roeske go to perform honorable and life-changing acts. 

Such was the case with Sergeant Anthony Roeske from Sterling Heights, who contributed his valiant efforts in response to an emergency that turned around a potential household tragedy. Sergeant Roeske has been nominated as one of the recipients of the 2023 Police Officer of the Year Award for his swift response and professional handling of the situation, which saved the life of a young girl.

Responding to Distress Without Delay

Sergeant Roeske was on road patrol when he received a call mid-afternoon on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. The frantic caller conveyed the emergency of a 15-month-old girl choking at home. Sergeant Roeske immediately responded to the scene — a mere 30 seconds from his original location.

Sterling Heights Command Officers Association's Officer Anthony Roeske | Police Officer of the Year Awards - May 2023 | POAM
POAM President Jim Tignanelli, Sterling Heights Command Officer Anthony Roeske, and POAM Business Agent Jon Pignataro.

The girl’s panicking family guided Sergeant Roeske into the home, where he saw the young girl held by a woman. He realized that the child was not breathing then and immediately administered a series of back thrusts to clear her obstructed airway before she lost consciousness. The sergeant used his first aid skills and successfully dislodged the food item from the child’s airways, and the young girl began to cough and cry. He calmly managed the situation before handing the child’s care to medics at the Sterling Heights Fire Department, where she received further medical assessment and treatment. 

The distressing scene and the response of Sergeant Roeske, recorded on his body camera, showed the officer’s composure and quick thinking during the time-sensitive ordeal. He stayed to offer comfort and assurance to the child’s frantic parents, who panicked as they watched helplessly during the incident.

Praise For Commendable Conduct

Sergeant Roeske has received widespread support from his peers in the police force for his lifesaving act. He has maintained a tireless dedication to the force, mostly as a road officer, for over 21 years. The experienced sergeant has contributed to multiple operations with the Sterling Heights Police Department. These include efforts to stop a pharmacy break-in in 2022 by blocking the bumper of the perpetrators’ vehicle with his police car. Sergeant Roeske’s selfless act helped thwart the heist, demonstrating his consistent vigilance in high-stress situations. 

Sergeant Roeske has recently dedicated his duties to running the midnight shift, where he actively mentors younger officers through best safety and career practices, leading by example. The Sterling Heights Police Department recognizes his actions and that they exemplify their commitment to providing the best service to set a great example for younger police officers and the residents of Sterling Heights. 

Sergeant Roeske’s Dedication to Family and Community

From a long line of public service officers, Sergeant Roeske’s strong passion for helping others runs in his blood. His father served as a Madison Heights police officer, his grandfather was a reserve officer with the Hazel Park Police Department, and his great-grandfather worked at the Hamtramck Fire Department. The guidance and influence from his family ultimately led him to a long, fulfilling career in law enforcement.

During off-duty days, Sergeant Roeske spends quality time with his family as a devoted father and husband.

Sergeant Roeske’s recent efforts have established his reputation as a dependable team member and role model for aspiring police officers. POAM acknowledges and rewards brave, committed officers who serve the community’s needs above and beyond. We honor Sergeant Anthony Roeske with the 2023 Police Officer of the Year Award for his outstanding contributions and positive influence on the civilian and policing communities.

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