Deputy U. S. Marshals (DUSMs) Matthew Barger, Michael Cifu, Andrew Kottke, and Frank Morales
United States Marshals Service
Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Deputy U. S. Marshals (DUSMs) Matthew Barger, Michael Cifu, Andrew Kottke, and Frank Morales as the recipients of its Officer of the Month Awards for January 2015.
On Friday, June 6, 2014, Ms. Valerie Tillet, a District of Columbia Court employee, was returning from her lunch break when she was struck by a dump truck while traversing a crosswalk. Witnesses at the scene watched in horror as the dump truck then began to backup, pinning her and crushing her legs.
DUSMs Matthew Barger and Michael Cifu were returning to the Moultrie Courthouse from their lunch break when they came upon the scene. The two immediately ran to Ms. Tillet, who had suffered severe injuries to her lower extremities and was losing blood profusely. DUSMs Barger and Cifu assessed the situation and utilized their training and experience to render first aid, including the use of an improvised tourniquet to try and stop her massive blood loss.
DUSMs Andrew Kottke and Frank Morales arrived on the scene soon after the incident. Surveying the chaos of the scene and the growing number of on-lookers, DUSMs Kottke and Morales took control of the scene and began relaying information to emergency medical and law enforcement personnel.
Upon their arrival, District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services (DC Fire/EMS) personnel praised the lifesaving work of DUSMs Barger and Cifu. The responding medics stated that if the care rendered by DUSMs Barger and Cifu had not been provided, Ms. Tillet would have had a drastically reduced chance of survival. The supporting roles of DUSMs Kottke and Morales were instrumental in maintaining the safety of all parties involved. Without the efforts of DUSMs Kottke and Morales, it would have been impossible for DUSMs Barger and Cifu to focus on providing first aid.
“When I think about that day, I never saw their faces but I could hear their voices. I want to say thank you to these fine gentlemen for the work they did … they answered the call. They could have kept going, but they didn’t. So I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. God bless you,” Ms. Tillet shared at a certificate presentation ceremony to the four DUSMs.
“The U. S. Marshals Service commends deputy marshals Barger, Cifu, Kottke and Morales on their vigilance, demeanor, situational awareness and execution of critical care in this tragic incident,” said Supervisory Deputy United States Marshal Aaron Sawyer. “These deputy marshals’ outstanding performance exemplifies the standards and expectations of the U. S. Marshals Service.”
“These officers’ quick actions and police training and instincts enabled them to save the life of this citizen,” said Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig Floyd. “They are truly heroes to their community and they deserve to be recipients of our January 2015 Officer of the Month Award.”
Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Deputy US Marshals Barger, Cifu, Kottke, and Morales, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2015 will be honored at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2016, during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of service and heroism will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s annual calendar.
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.