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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

Columbus Field Division

For Immediate Release

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Contact: Suzanne Dabkowski

Save a Cop Program Receives Award

Indianapolis – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Columbus Field Division is pleased to announce that the Save a Cop program has been awarded The Jake Kuredjian Memorial Award during ATF’s 20th Annual Awards Ceremony on Aug. 25, 2016.  The Awards Ceremony was held at the Ariel Rios Federal Building in Washington, D.C.  Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Detective Ronald Gray, Detective Michael Antonelli, Sgt. Josh Shaughnessy, and Sgt. Tammy Kuntz were present to receive the award.  Antonelli, Gray, and Shaughnessy are assigned full time to the ATF-led Achilles Task Force in Indianapolis.  The Achilles Task Force comprises ATF agents and detectives from IMPD, Indiana State Police, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Lawrence Police Department.  The task force focuses its investigative efforts on firearms-related violent crime and firearms trafficking in Indianapolis.

“These officers personify the best of the law enforcement community,” stated Brad Earman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division.  “They saw a way to potentially prevent injury or death in the line of duty for their fellow officers, and they proactively created a program that will benefit not only law enforcement, but the community at large, by removing violent criminals from the streets of Indianapolis.”

“We are incredibly thankful for the federal partnerships IMPD continues to cultivate toward reducing crime, reducing the fear of crime and enhancing public safety,” said IMPD Chief Troy Riggs. “Today’s award recognizes the outstanding work of IMPD Detectives Ron Gray, Mike Antonelli, and Sergeants Josh Shaughnessy and Tammy Kuntz that aids IMPD in our continual effort to reduce violent crime in our great city.” 

In 2005, IMPD Patrol Officer Michael Antonelli was shot by a fleeing suspect during an altercation following a traffic stop.  This shot cost Antonelli the use of one eye.  After the event, it was discovered that the individual who shot Antonelli had several previous contacts with law enforcement, but was not fully prosecuted due to evidentiary issues.  This experience led Antonelli and his colleagues Detective Gray, Sgt. Shaughnessy, and Sgt. Kuntz to develop the Save a Cop program.

The Save a Cop program trains IMPD officers to serve as ATF firearm liaisons, who receive additional training in crime-scene management, field triage and investigative responsibility, evidence collection and processing, documentation, search and seizure, interviewing, photography, and state and federal firearms laws.  Liaison officers are also introduced to officers who were shot in the line of duty.  These officers explain how suspects in their cases had been arrested for firearms offense which were later dismissed due to evidentiary

issues, and reiterate the importance of solid forensic evidence.  If the suspect(s) had been convicted, the officers may not have been shot…hence the program was named “Save a Cop.”

Although coordinating the efforts of local, state, and federal agencies took significant time and effort, and is a continual process, this program is making an impact and improving the handling of firearms evidence in central Indiana.

The Jake Kuredjian Memorial Award recognizes active duty or retired members of a federal, state, or local law enforcement organization who have significantly contributed to the safety of agents/officers during the preparation, planning, or implementation of enforcement operations with ATF.  This honorary award was established in memory of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian, who died Aug. 31, 2001, in the line of duty while responding to a shots-fired barricade situation involving the safety of ATF Agents.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov or visit ATF on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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Field Division: Columbus Field Division