The Irish American Police Officers Association (IAPOA) is pleased to announce that a recently retired Westborough Police Department sergeant was honored with the IAPOA Lifesaving Award for rescuing a domestic violence victim from her attacker.
On Oct. 27, members of the IAPOA Executive Board visited the Westborough Police Department to present the award to retired Sgt. Jonathan Kalagher.
On Nov. 15, 2019, shortly after noon, Sgt. Kalagher and two other officers were dispatched to a report of a violent domestic assault at an apartment complex in town, where a man was reportedly stabbing his significant other.
Upon arriving at the scene, Sgt. Kalagher learned that the victim fled her apartment to seek refuge in another unit. A short time later — as he was still trying to find the victim — Sgt. Kalagher was informed that the attacker found the woman in the other unit and was continuing to attack her.
Sgt. Kalagher soon located the unit where the victim fled, and saw the victim on the floor being stabbed repeatedly by the attacker, who had a knife in each of his hands.
Sgt. Kalagher ordered the attacker to drop the knives, but the attacker ignored his commands and Sgt. Kalagher fired his department-issued firearm four times, ending the threat to the victim.
Sgt. Kalagher secured the suspect and rendered immediate first-aid to the victim until a Westborough Ambulance crew arrived to take over care.
The victim suffered multiple stab wounds, but she was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center and survived her wounds. The attacker did not survive.
“Sgt. Kalagher ran toward danger and found himself facing one of the toughest situations a law enforcement officer can face — the need to use deadly force in order to save an innocent life,” said President Sweetland. “Sgt. Kalagher’s quick, decisive and professional actions clearly resulted in the life of a domestic violence victim being saved.”
The IAPOA usually holds an annual awards dinner for all honorees, but has been unable to do so for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year the IAPOA is recognizing honorees by traveling to meet them and present the awards individually. The IAPOA is hopeful they will be able to host an in-person dinner and awards ceremony again next year.
Individuals and organizations can be nominated for awards in six categories:
- Meritorious Service
- Community Service
- Humanitarian Acts
The IAPOA also recognizes the sacrifice made in line-of-duty deaths with a Medal of Honor presented posthumously to the families of fallen officers.
The IAPOA is a designated 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For further information or to become a member, please visit www.irishamericanpolice.org.