Two EPD officers named 'Officer of the Year'

Officer Lenny Reed (center, left) and Officer Ryan Winters (center, right) receive "Officer of the Year" awards Thursday afternoon. (Courtesy: EPD Facebook page)
Officer Lenny Reed (center, left) and Officer Ryan Winters (center, right) receive "Officer of the Year" awards Thursday afternoon. (Courtesy: EPD Facebook page)

The Downtown Kiwanis Club held its annual "Officer of The Year" awards ceremony to honor Evansville Police Department (EPD) officers at the Tropicana hotel Thursday afternoon.

This year, two outstanding EPD officers received the award.

Officers Lenny Reed and Ryan Winters were both recognized for their dedication to serving, as well as the hard work they put into changing a law that prevented officers from aiding victims in need of immediate, on-site medical assistance during high-risk EPD investigations.

In the past, state law prohibited many levels of emergency medical treatment to be performed unless a person had certain certified medical education/training.

Officer Reed and Officer Winters, who both received extensive tactical medical training from a Cypress Creek EMS program, thought those trained to provide emergency medical care under stressful conditions should be allowed to legally take action in order to save lives.

They started a campaign to "bring good medicine to bad places," taking their requests to various agencies, from the local EMS providers all the way through to the Indiana State Legislature.

Their persistent efforts led to the writing of Indiana HB 1111, which was unanimously approved at its first reading before being sent to the Senate, where it is expected to pass with an emergency enactment amendment, which will put this lifesaving legislation to work immediately.

Knowing that the local EMS provider won't enter an area deemed unsafe or unstable, which would delay emergency medical treatment for individuals involved in high-risk incidents during the course of their duties with the EPD, both officers also thought more needed to be offered than just the legally allowed basic treatment options.

In 2011 and 2012, Officer Reed was able to bring the Strategic Skill Training Institute (SSTI) to Evansville to teach Tactical Combat Casualty Care to officers from several states. Lives will potentially be saved because of this training.

In an effort to even further expand training for the EPD, Officers Reed and Winters brought a portion of the Combat Action Tourniquet (CAT) to the department.

Officer Winters worked diligently to obtain funding from the Evansville Police Department Foundation and they provided CAT's for the entire department. They trained the department on this life saving skill set and provided a CAT tourniquet for officers to carry on duty.

More than 280 EPD officers were trained during in-service in 2012.

They also self-initiated contact with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office and trained that entire department as well in November 2012.

Officer Reed has served the City of Evansville as a police officer since December 2003 and is currently a detective with the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Narcotics Joint Task Force as a Criminal Interdiction K9 Handler. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician-Tactical.

Officer Winters joined the EPD in August 2007 after being a volunteer firefighter for the past 15 years, serving as firefighter, EMT, Lieutenant, and Division Chief. He has been an EMT for 13 years and is a First Aid/CPR/AED instructor.

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