The safe and particularly effective use of one Stop Stick® Tire Deflation Device that halted two pursuits has earned Officer Mike Fisher of the Southington Police Department in Connecticut the 2018 “Hit of the Year” award. In this unique case, three law enforcement agencies were involved in pursuing suspects who were later charged with felony, larceny in the third degree, resisting arrest, engaging police in pursuit, and reckless driving. Stopping these two stolen vehicles safely and quickly protected the lives of many law enforcement professionals as well as the general public.
Officer Fisher's deployment was previously recognized in the Eastern Region's October 2018 Hit of the Month. The Hit of the Year and Hit of the Month program recognizes the very best deployments of the Stop Stick® Tire Deflation Device in ending pursuits across the country. A top deployment in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West are voted on each month to nominate the Hit of the Month winner. Those 12 Hit of the Month winners are then eligible for Hit of the Year.
This unique case occurred in October 2018, when the Southington Police Department was requested to assist officers pursuing two stolen vehicles in a pursuit that originated in Cheshire, Connecticut, approximately 10 miles from Southington. During this pursuit, Officer Fisher deployed a single Stop Stick Kit and was able to successfully stop both stolen vehicles.
By properly deploying the tire deflation device Officer Fisher was able to puncture three tires on one vehicle, which continued approximately one mile before the suspect bailed from the vehicle and was apprehended. With the same deployed Stop Stick Kit, Officer Fisher punctured two tires on the second vehicle, which continued for several miles until the suspect abandoned the vehicle and was apprehended and taken into custody by a K-9 unit. While Stop Stick Devices are known for assisting in the termination of thousands of pursuits each year, it's extremely rare when the device is able to stop two suspect vehicles with one deployment.
This was actually Officer Fisher's first time deploying a Stop Stick. “Officer Fisher was strategic about deploying his Stop Stick unit. He found a good position on an area of the road where it would be hard for the suspects to maneuver. He made sure he could deploy the device safely,” said Lt. Keith Egan, also of the Southington Police Department.
In addition to the Southington Police Department, the Wolcott Police and Connecticut State Police were involved in apprehending the suspects. All law enforcement officials involved are to be congratulated on their efforts to protect the communities they serve.
"The Stop Stick deployment was a team coordination with officers from all of departments actively involved in the pursuit," explained Officer Fisher. He emphasized that the deployment was successful because all of the officers communicated effectively and worked together.
Stop Stick National Sales Manager Hugh Campbell added, "To see Stop Stick perform effectively in stopping not one, but two vehicles, is an exciting testimony to the device's effectiveness in the field. We applaud the efforts of Officer Fisher and the other professionals involved in this pursuit." Stop Stick, Ltd. commends Officer Fisher and all of the law enforcement professionals involved in this unique pursuit for their combined efforts to safely terminate the pursuit and reduce the risk of injury to themselves, innocent individuals or property.
In 2018, there were nearly 3,000 deployment reports submitted to Stop Stick, Ltd. All deploying officers received a letter of accolade from company president Andy Morrison along with a Stop Stick “Hit Pin” after successful use of the device. Hit of the Month and Hit of the Year recipients further demonstrated excellence in deploying Stop Stick, taking several key categories into consideration: Danger to law enforcement and general public, effectiveness of device leading to apprehension of suspect resulting in no loss of life or serious injury, and the deploying officer demonstrating safe cover as recommended in Stop Stick user training.