Sgt. Michael Reeves and PFC Chris Shaver, who will be receiving Certificate of Valor awards in March, were honored early at the grand opening of the new Commerce Bank on Maple Avenue, East. During Saturday's celebration, the bank presented a check for $500 to Vienna's Meals on Wheels program, the charity chosen by the two Vienna police officers.
Last May, the officers responded to a late-night call saying a man was trying to commit suicide, said Reeves. When they arrived at the scene, he said, they found a shirtless man, "and he's got a knife to his stomach, and he's sawing it back and forth saying he's going to kill himself."
"We gave him numerous orders to drop the knife, and he wouldn't drop the knife," said Shaver. "Mike got there first and started talking to the guy, and when I got there, it distracted him."
"And we just Tasered him," said Reeves. "Officer Shaver was able to pry the knife out of the guy's hand and take it away from him."
"Officer Shaver displayed composure under stress that belies his years on the department," wrote Lt. David Pelto in his nomination for the two officers to receive valor awards. Shaver has spent four years on the force. "Sgt. Reeves utilized the resources available to him and remained calm," Pelto went on. He concluded that the men had "saved the life of a distraught individual who sought to take his own life."
Commerce Bank typically chooses a local citizen to honor during a grand opening, said Branch Manager Kurt Frogale. An employee at the bank also staffs the annual Valor Awards and brought the officers to the bank's attention, Frogale said. "They were obviously important to the community," he noted.
A Certificate of Valor ranks fourth of the five Valor Awards, below the Bronze Medal of Valor and above the Lifesaving Award. The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce presents Valor Awards to law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel to honor acts of heroism in the line of duty. This year's awards will be presented at a ceremony on March 1 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.
Receiving Lifesaving Awards will be Sgt. Jamie Smith, PFC Jarod Evans and MPO Trent Nelson, all of the Vienna Police Department.