Brave officer wins regional award
A Humberside Police officer who was shot in the face, arm and shoulder by a man who had just stabbed a pensioner and also shot his police dog has won a regional Police Bravery Award.
PC Ian Sweeney and Police Dog Logan were put forward for the annual national Police Bravery Awards by Humberside Police Federation and were named as the winners for the Federation’s No 2 region which also includes the Cleveland, Durham, Northumbria, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire forces, at last night’s awards ceremony in London.
Ian said: “The cuts they’ve healed up, but you rely on your family to help you out. The dogs help you more than anything because they keep you going. If you’re a dog handler it’s your life – it’s not a job, it’s your life. You spend 18 hours a day with your dogs – I mean a dog handler never has a bad day – they bring you along. It’s an absolutely fantastic job to do, I feel privileged.”
Pete Musgrave, chair of Humberside Police Federation, attended the bravery awards presentation with Ian and his wife, Lynn, and was among the first to congratulate him on his success.
“It was great to see Ian win this award in recognition of his bravery in tackling such a dangerous individual. Despite the obvious danger he and Logan were in, he remained committed to protecting the public, putting his own life on the line to do the job he joined the police service to do,” says Pete.
“Ian is a fine example of the brave action taken by police officers day in and day out as they serve their communities and I am delighted he has been honoured in this way.”
Before the evening awards ceremony, Ian and Lynn attended a Downing Street reception hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May and attended by other nominees for the awards.
Ian and Logan were on duty on 12 March last year when they responded to a call about a 68-year-old man having been stabbed at his home in Durban Road, Grimsby.
Ian located the suspect, Joshua Murray (21), drinking at his friend’s house, however, Murray ran off and the brave PC and Logan chased after him.
Murray drew a pistol and shot Logan in the head before fighting with Ian and shooting him with the gas-powered pellet gun. He was shot in the face three times, one of them narrowly missing his eye. He was also shot in the shoulder and right leg.
PD Logan was shot in the mouth and nose three times, suffering puncture wounds.
Despite knowing Murray was happy to discharge his weapon, Ian continued to tackle him with his only concern being his protection of the public and the apprehension of a dangerous criminal.
Ian was able to detain Murray and arrested him for several offences, before tending to his dog’s wounds and then finally seeking medical attention himself.
Ian admits to some trepidation as the incident unfolded.
“I was aware the subject had a bladed article we were searching for so it was normal business, however, the dynamics seriously changed when we located him and when he pointed the pistol at me and Logan I thought that it was a real 9mm pistol we were facing at close range,” he explained.
“I thought we were going to be seriously injured or killed and we could not be going home to our family. I knew I had a job to do and had to keep my colleagues safe and the wider community but felt sick and my stomach dropped to a level I did not think existed and that Logan, my best friend and colleague, would firstly pay the ultimate price and be killed saving me.
“I was not going to back down. That’s why I was right behind Logan as he was released and when he was injured first and I was injured next I was right beside Logan and took over fighting for both of our lives. The subject was not going to get away and avoid arrest at all.”
Ian suffered severe concussion lasting five to six weeks with a consultant initially thinking he had a bleed on the brain. He had five impact injuries from the metal ball bearings fired from the pistol.
Logan recovered within a week but is still sporting a small scar on his nose. He is unaffected by the incident, having performed as required with no adverse effects when tested by the dog section’s training department a few days later.
Lynn, the couple’s daughter and the wider family are extremely proud of both Ian and Logan but have come to expect nothing less of the brave duo.
Ian said: “It is not the first time anything like this has happened; a year earlier Logan tracked three criminals and we were attacked with bricks, suffering injuries. There are many more incidents in the past too.”
The brave officer has already won the Emergency Services Award in Grimsby Live’s Heart Of Your Community Awards 2018.