The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) proudly announces Officer Nicholas Vandemar of the Rochester (NY) Police Department as the September Officer of the Month. His courageous actions underscore the daily risks faced by law enforcement officers and their continuous commitment to preserving the safety of their communities.
On the evening of September 30, 2023, officers responded to a dispatch call involving multiple gunshots fired. Shortly after arriving on the scene, Officer Vandemar’s quick thinking and bravery became evident as he noticed a vehicle with no headlights fleeing the area at a high rate of speed.
This prompted him to initiate a vehicular pursuit that continued until the suspect’s vehicle collided with a pole. Subsequently, the driver fled from the vehicle, leading to a determined foot chase. The pursuit reached a critical point when the suspect sought refuge in the backyard of a residence, and the officer momentarily lost sight of the suspect. It was during this momentary lapse that Officer Vandemar was ambushed from behind, leading to a physical struggle between him and the suspect. The officer attempted to deploy his department-issued Taser, but it proved unsuccessful. A harrowing fight ensued over the officer’s firearm, which had been removed from his holster. During this intense altercation, five rounds were fired, with the last round striking the suspect in the jaw. Additional responding officers quickly arrived on the scene and immediately began providing medical aid to the suspect, ensuring a swift response to the situation.
“Officer Vandemar’s selfless dedication to upholding the highest standards of law enforcement exemplifies the resilience and valor exhibited by officers nationwide,” said Bill Alexander, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. “His unwavering commitment to public safety and his extraordinary bravery in the face of danger make him a deserving recipient of the Officer of the Month award.”