Recipient - President's Commendation
May 8, 2008
Patrolman Morris is a 15-year veteran of the West Manheim Township Police Department. He is currently assigned to Patrol and Criminal Investigation, and is the JNet and criminal history records coordinator for the department.
Patrolman Morris was born in York, and is a graduate of the Red Lion Area High School, and the Harrisburg Area Community College Municipal Police Academy. Morris is married and has two children.
Patrolman Morris is the recipient of numerous Chief of Police Commendations and was the 2007 Hanover Elks Officer of the Year.
On June 18, 2007, Morris was dispatched to a report of a subject that had left a prison work release job, and had fled to the woods, threatening to commit suicide. The subject called his girlfriend and stated he was not going back to prison, and was prepared to take his life by injecting a large quantity of heroin.
Confirming that the subject had purchased a large quantity of heroin a few hours earlier, and discovering that the subject was armed with a large knife, Morris believed the subject would make good on the threat. Attempts to call the subject's cell phone went unanswered.
Morris enlisted the help of Patrolman Gebhart and they contacted Sprint Wireless and started an emergency GPS track on the subject's cell phone. The cell phone was tracked to a heavily wooded area known as "Pigeon Hills."
A command post was established and additional resources were requested to aid in the search. A large party was in progress at a nearby lodge, and the safety of 50+ guests had become a concern.
Morris and Gebhart requested permission to start a ground search on foot prior to the arrival of search dogs and a helicopter. A search plan was arranged, and Morris and Gebhart entered the woods.
Morris and Gebhart located the man, who was semi-conscious and leaning against a tree. Upon noticing the officers approaching, the subject wildly stabbed himself repeatedly in the neck with a large serrated knife. Gebhart deployed a Taser to subdue the subject, and initiated life saving measures, including CPR, airway management and controlling the bleeding. The subject was transported via helicopter to York Hospital where he was hospitalized for several weeks. Fully recovered, the subject is in the custody of the state prison system.
Nominated by: Chief of Police Timothy J. Hippensteel, West Manheim Township Police Department
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