Post Commander Dan Watkins (left) and past Post Commander Lewis Oliver (right) present Officer Jonathan Shepard with its Officer of the Year award Wednesday. Also pictured, RCPD Director Dennis Butler. (Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN)

MANHATTAN — Riley County police officer Jonathan Shepard was recognized during Tuesday’s Riley County Law Board meeting as this year’s recipient of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Law Enforcement officer of the year award.

Shepard was honored for his quick action during the 2018 Labor Day flood in Manhattan. On Sept. 3, Shepard was assigned to drop barricades at the beginning of the flood threat and later helped escort children and elderly out of waste-deep flood waters in Redbud Estates. After helping hundreds evacuate he had gone to change into dry clothing and went to Anneberg Park area where floodwaters were unstable.

Commander Dan Watkins with VFW Post 1678 got emotional while highlighting Shepard’s bravery that day.

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The person was transported by EMS and life-flighted from Manhattan for injuries near drowning.

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Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN

In addition to Shepard’s honor, Watkins presented RCPD’s Emergency Response Unit and tactical team with an award recognizing the team’s response to an active shooter situation where one RCPD officer was shot  during a Jan. 5, 2018 standoff in Hawthorne Woods.

Watkins says the officer had responded to a past domestic situation at the Manhattan residence in. The officer was fired at multiple times, with one bullet striking him in the leg.

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That officer, Sgt. Pat Tiede was hospitalized afterward and recovered. The suspect, later identified as Mark Harrison reportedly fired nearly 30 rounds at officers and was fortunate that there were no other injuries.

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Harrison is now standing trial in Riley County District Court for attempted capital murder.



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