Officer of the Month March 2005

Officer Frank Rutherford

Youngstown (OH) Police Department

Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Officer Frank Rutherford of the Youngstown (OH) Police Department as Officer of the Month for March 2005. Officer Rutherford has dutifully served four and a half years with his department and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division.
There are three traits for which Officer Frank Rutherford is admired: his fearless dedication to duty, his devotion to community service, and the extreme sense of compassion that he displays towards the citizens of Youngstown, Ohio. Time and time again, he has proved to be an exemplary and selfless law enforcement officer.
In March 2001 Officer Rutherford volunteered to go undercover for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Washington Field Division to investigate illegal criminal behavior taking place within the Warlocks Motorcycle Club, an outlaw motorcycle gang. His mission was to support the ATF undercover agents that had already infiltrated the club and gather as much information as possible about the club members and their illicit activities. For the next two and a half years Officer Rutherford slowly gained the confidence of the members and collected an extensive amount of information about their criminal operations. Even though he was placed in high-stress, dangerous situations, Officer Rutherford’s undercover performance was so remarkable that he was asked to become a member of the Warlocks.
The evidence gathered by Officer Rutherford led to a two-day sting operation. The operation, involving 300 officers across five states, resulted in 34 arrest warrants, 47 federal search warrants and the confiscation of over 120 firearms. In addition, body armor, $25,000 in currency and significant amounts of powder cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana were uncovered. The sting also identified club members that were previously unknown to law enforcement.
Soon after this operation, Officer Rutherford once again cooperated with ATF in the investigation of a homicide in Columbus, Ohio. He successfully collected information from a reliable informant regarding the whereabouts of the fugitive suspect and located him at a busy restaurant. Working with a team of agents, Officer Rutherford formulated a strategic plan to apprehend the suspect outside of the establishment and successfully achieved this without further incidence of harm.
Although Officer Rutherford received the Youngstown Police Department’s Excellent Service Bar for his impressive number of drug arrests, there are two non-drug related cases which bring him tremendous satisfaction. The first involved an elderly female who was beaten severely with a shotgun by a burglar. Outraged by this crime, Officer Rutherford and his partner searched relentlessly during their entire shift for the suspect, while handling other calls, and successfully apprehended him with evidence linked to the crime.
The second case led to the arrest of a man who had raped several young children. The care that he took to gather evidence and his diligent efforts during follow-up investigations led to his obtaining a written confession from the suspect. His hard work and dedication yielded an invaluable end: taking a dangerous predator off the streets.
Officer Rutherford excels at every task he takes on.. Each day, he handles routine calls in a professional and exemplary manner. His follow-up investigations often go above and beyond the call of duty, and his work helps to solve many cases before they are sent to the Detective Bureau. His reports are meticulous, thoughtfully written, and reflect his understanding of the Criminal Justice System. Officer Rutherford also takes a particular interest in community service and regularly organizes fundraising activities to benefit local charities and to help subsidize the travel expenses of survivors of officers killed in the line of duty wishing to participate in National Police Week in Washington, DC.
Police Unity Tour
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.