Chief of Police Jeffery Walters
Philippi (WV) Police Department
Washington, DC—The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Chief of Police Jeffery Walters, of the Philippi (WV) Police Department, as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for October 2015.
On August 25, 2015, a 14-year-old student walked into a classroom at Philip Barbour High School in Philippi, West Virginia, and held 29 students and a teacher hostage at gunpoint.
The teacher maintained order in the classroom and kept the students calm while she convinced the gunman to keep additional students from entering the classroom as class periods were changing. Students attempting to enter the classroom informed school faculty of the situation and they called 911.
Within three minutes of receiving the 911 call, Chief Walters and two other law enforcement officers arrived at the high school. Chief Walters was taken to the classroom where he began communicating with the gunman through the window in the door. After 30 minutes of negotiation, the gunman released all of the hostages.
Over the course of the next two hours, Chief Walters continued to talk with the gunman. After the gunman requested to speak with his pastor, Chief Walters and the pastor convinced the gunman to unload his pistol and surrender.
Since 2005, Chief Walters and the Philippi Police Department have been training for active-shooter barricade situations. Chief Walters became an instructor after working with the San Marcos, Texas-based ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) program. This training proved invaluable as Chief Walters took control of this situation, peacefully ending what could have been a tragic incident.
According to Philippi Mayor Charles Mouser, “If it hadn’t been for Chief Walters and his training, and his discussion and dialogue with the young guy, as well as the teacher’s actions, we would have probably had a big tragedy in that school.”
“Chief Walters’ quick response to a deadly situation saved the lives of many students and faculty,” said Memorial Fund Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig W. Floyd. “His brave actions are deserving of our October 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.
Chief Walters, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2015, will be honored during National Police Week at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2016.
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.