Acting Sergeant Michael Caldwell and Officer Jeremy Shrewsbury have been named as the Vinton Police Officers of the Month for February.
According to Vinton Police Chief Tom Foster, Caldwell and Shrewsbury had just completed training at the Roanoke County Training Facility in Dixie Caverns and were returning to Vinton.
“During that time, Officer J.R. Keith attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic infraction,” said Foster. “Unbeknownst to Officer Keith, the suspect vehicle was stolen out of Roanoke City. Due to this, the traffic stop resulted in a vehicle pursuit. In an attempt to elude Officer Keith, the driver of the suspect vehicle ultimately wrecked her vehicle into a residence in the 1000 block of Blandford Avenue. Due to the vehicle striking a gas line, Officer Keith was unable to pursue the suspects. He relayed pertinent information to responding officers and diverted to clearing the residence of any occupants, largely due to the gas leak.”
An area canvass was set up in the neighborhood. The Roanoke County Police Department, along with the K-9 teams, responded for assistance. Both Acting Sergeant Caldwell and Officer Shrewsbury positioned themselves on the Parkway Bridge focusing on the Niagara Dam area.
“Due to the terrain, both officers deployed as a team on foot, in search of the driver and passenger of the vehicle,” said Foster. “Through an extensive search, Caldwell and Shrewsbury were able to find and apprehend the female driver hiding near the Roanoke River.”
The officers conducted a lengthy interview and were able to identify the male suspect.
“Acting Sergeant Caldwell and Officer Shrewsbury demonstrated the definition of ‘teamwork’ and the willingness to serve our community,” remarked Foster. “It is important to note that both officers were in an off-duty capacity. The desire and tenacity these two officers displayed exemplifies the men and women of the Vinton Police Department and the devotion they have to protect our community.”