As a result of placing his own life in jeopardy while on-duty in order to apprehend a dangerous suspect, P.O. Jason Perkins is a recipient of the department's Distinguished Service Citation for Valor Award.
Hazelwood Chief of Police Carl Wolf and Mayor Matthew Robinson presented him with this honor at a recent city council meeting.
The incident occurred on June 23, 2011, at approximately 11 p.m. while Perkins was patrolling the 8400 block of Latty Avenue in Hazelwood. He heard what he said appeared to be multiple gun shots coming from the Midwood Avenue and Sagewood Lane area. Following his instincts, he traveled west on Hatina Drive and then turned right onto Woodhurst Drive and continued going north on Woodhurst.
Perkins saw a suspicious individual wearing a black jacket and black jeans walking along the side of the road just inside the city limits of Hazelwood. He exited his patrol car and identified himself as a police officer. The subject turned around to face him and began firing rounds from a weapon. Perkins ducked behind his vehicle and returned fire using his department issued service weapon.
The suspect then began to run east on Sagewood and attempted to jump a fence. After not being able to get over the fence, the suspect ran further east on Sagewood and then turned north. Perkins chased the suspect on foot and found him climbing another fence at 8318 Sagewood.
Since the suspect was using both hands on the fence and not holding a firearm, Perkins holstered his weapon and drew his Taser. He then ordered the suspect off the fence. When the suspect started running towards him, Perkins fired the Taser. It struck the suspect, stunning him. This enabled Perkins to gain control of the suspect at which time he notified dispatch to send an ambulance to his location.
During the interrogation, it was determined that the apprehended suspect had just been involved in a shooting in Berkeley. In accordance with the department's Operational Guideline 03-OG-08, Awards Program, Section 11, paragraph B, a six-member awards committee was formed. They all agreed to recommend Perkins for the department's Distinguished Service Citation for Valor Award.