Officer Andy Hopfensperger | Officer Ryan Bula
Antigo (WI) Police Department
Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Officer Andy Hopfensperger and K-9 Officer Ryan Bula, of the Antigo (WI) Police Department, as the recipients of its Officer of the Month Award for March 2017.
Late in the evening of April 23, 2016, attendees began to leave the Antigo High School prom in Antigo, WI, a town of 8,000 people northwest of Green Bay. In the gym parking lot, was a former student, armed with a rifle and high-capacity magazine.
The former student started shooting at the prom goers, striking two in the leg. Officer Andy Hopfensperger and K-9 Officer Ryan Bula were patrolling the high school and immediately responded to the shooting.
As the officers were responding, the shooter aimed the rifle at Officer Hopfensperger, who quickly shot and fatally wounded the suspect. The officers called paramedics and kept the students calm in this terrifying situation.
“As well as saving lives, you kept us calm,” wrote a student in a thank-you note to the officers. “As I was trembling in the corner, I know I could put my complete trust in you guys. Without your calmness and order, the gym would have been in chaos.”
“The immediate action of Officer Hopfensperger and Officer Bula directly saved the lives of the couples exiting the prom and prevented an increased tragedy that evening,” Chief Eric Roller said. “I am very proud to have Officer Hopfensperger and Officer Bula working for the Antigo Police Department.”
“In what could have been a far more tragic situation, Officers Hopfensperger and Bula saved the lives of countless others through their quick actions,” Memorial Fund President and CEO Craig W. Floyd said. “Their bravery has earned them the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award for March 2017.”
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.
Officer Andy Hopfensperger and K-9 Officer Ryan Bula, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2017, will be honored during National Police Week at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2018.
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.