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2024 Officer of the Year Award

On April 25, 2023 at approximately 9:10pm Officers Thorpe and Cox observed a vehicle traveling south on Sheridan Rd in the City of Kenosha with no front driver’s side tire and sparks flying from the exposed wheel.  A traffic stop was initiated by Officer Thorpe but the vehicle would not stop.  Officer Cox was in the area and quickly followed Officer Thorpe’s squad as he tried to get the vehicle to stop.  The vehicle continued to travel at normal city speeds making turns, using appropriate signals, and operating as though nothing was amiss.  The front driver’s side area caught on fire and left a flame trail behind the vehicle as it continued to travel on.  One of the rear wheels eventually started to spark and subsequently the rear end of the vehicle burst into flames.  The vehicle made a final turn and slow rolled to a stop.  By the time the vehicle came to a complete stop it was engulfed in flames.  Officers Cox and Thorpe ran to the vehicle.  As the vehicle’s occupant, an elderly male (who officers later found out, thought he could make it home on a flat tire), opened the driver’s door and accelerated the flames in the cabin area of the vehicle.  The driver, stepped out for a brief moment and then for some reason retreated back into the driver’s seat.  It was at this moment Officers Cox and Thorpe reached the vehicle.  They pulled the elderly male from the burning vehicle and drug him a safe distance from the fire.  The elderly male only suffered very minor injuries, a burnt jacket, and some burnt hair.  He was examined by EMS but he was not transported to a hospital.  With only minor injuries he was provided a ride home.  A driver condition report was completed.  It was officer Cox and Thorpe’s actions that prevented further or more serious injuries to the elderly male.  Officers Cox and Thorpe displayed bravery, quick thinking, and courage.  They were able to think fast on their feet and quickly remove an elderly man from an explosive and dangerous situation.  Officers Cox and Thorpe were able to think fast on their feet to save a life.  They risked their life to save that of another.  For that they are awarded the Wisconsin Traffic Safety Officers Association’s, Officer of the Year Award for their initiative in these events, characterized by obvious self-sacrifice while facing personal danger.


Congratulations Kenosha Officers Cody Cox and Jacob Thorpe.


Years of Service Award

Justin Raska was initially elected to the board of directors in 2016 after which he served as its treasurer and vice-president for several years.  He was eventually made president where he served for his final two years on the board.  Justin had to reluctantly step down in 2023 due to a position change at his sheriff’s office. 


Justin made several improvements and innovations to the WTSOA.  He helped grow the WTSOA to what it is today.  The last few years have progressively been our biggest and most attended conferences in the history of the WTSOA.  We are still on that upward trajectory riding the coattails of Justin’s leadership with this year’s 167 attendees.  A new WTSOA attendance record.


While vice-president and president Justin help digitize most of the WTSOA documents, improve our website, and also implemented the WTSOA Officer of the Year Award.


We would all like to thank Justin for his years of service, dedication, and commitment to the Wisconsin Traffic Safety Officer’s Association and would like to present him with this award for his 7 years of service to the WTSOA.

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