02.23.17

SCHUMER PRESENTS CONGRESSIONAL BADGE OF BRAVERY TO TROY OFFICER JOSHUA COMITALE FOR HIS HEROIC SERVICE AFTER RISKING HIS LIFE TO STOP A CARJACKING SUSPECT IN LANSINGBURGH SHOOT OUT Despite Multiple Gunshot Wounds, Officer Comitale Exercised Tremendous Courage to Protect His Community and Fellow Officers Schumer: Today we Honor a Local Hero, Who Earned This Award For His Incredible Bravery

Despite Multiple Gunshot Wounds, Officer Comitale Exercised Tremendous Courage to Protect His Community and Fellow Officers

Schumer: Today we Honor a Local Hero, Who Earned This Award For His Incredible Bravery

Surrounded by dozens of Troy area police office officers, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, today presented Troy Police Officer Joshua Comitale with the Congressional Badge of Bravery. The award honors federal, state, or local law enforcement officers who display exceptional bravery while in the line of duty, these brave acts are often at cost of the officer’s personal safety. 

“I am humbled and honored to present the Congressional Badge of Bravery to Officer Comitale for the extraordinary courage he displayed on the night of August 22, 2015. When faced with extreme danger, Officer Comitale’s ability to respond quickly and bravely, saved not only his life, but life of his fellow officers and the lives of those in the community he swore to protect,” said Senator Schumer. “When the stakes were higher than ever Officer Comitale went above and beyond the call of duty to prevent a horrible situation from getting even worse. Officer Comitale’s exceptional training, devotion to duty and heroism commands our utmost respect and deserves our deepest gratitude.”

The official Department of Justice account of the incident reads:

“On August 22, 2015, Officer Joshua Comitale, along with additional officers, responded to a call for an attempted carjacking. Officer Comitale was the closest officer and encountered a suspect who was on foot and matched the description that had been put out. Officer Comitale delayed approaching the suspect until backup officers could respond to the area. Once backup officers arrived in the area, Office Comitale exited his vehicle in order to approach the suspect. It was at this point that the suspect attempted to flee the area on foot.

Officer Chad Klein was one of the initial backup officers to respond, and while still in his vehicle he was shot in his shoulder by the suspect through the driver's side window. Officer Comitale, having witnessed the suspect firing on Officer Klein, he returned fire at the suspect, striking him and causing him to fall. The suspect returned fire and more than 20 rounds were exchanged between the suspect and Officer Comitale. During this exchange of gunfire, Officer Comitale sustained wounds to both legs, which rendered him immobile. The suspect was also struck five times during this exchange, but continued resisting arrest.

Additional responding officers were able to use a TASER to incapacitate the suspect. The suspect ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Officer Comitale was able to apply a tourniquet to his wounded right leg before assistance arrived. Both wounded officers were transported for medical treatment and are recovering from their injuries. Subsequent toxicology tests on the suspect revealed an extraordinary level of PCP was in his system.

The actions of Officer Comitale demonstrate extraordinary bravery and a willingness to save the lives of others, without regard to his own personal safety.”

In addition to praising Officer Comitale for his bravery, Schumer thanked the entire Troy Police Department for their commitment to serve and protect their community. Schumer vowed to always be their staunchest advocate in Washington, promising to fight any attempt to cut crucial law enforcement funding.

Schumer has long worked on behalf of law enforcement. Schumer wrote the Crime Bill in 1994 which put more put more than 100,000 cops on the beat. He also fought for and created the Community Oriented Policing Service’s (COPS) grant program which works to ensure that police departments have the resources they need to keep New Yorkers safe. The COPS Office awards grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to hire and train community policing professionals, acquire cutting-edge crime-fighting technologies, and develop and test innovative policing strategies. This program awards grants to state and local law enforcement agencies to hire and train police officers, acquire and deploy new, crime-fighting technologies.

Schumer was joined by Mayor Patrick Madden, Police Chief John Tedesco and law enforcement officers from across the Capital Region.

“The actions taken by Officer Joshua Comitale on the night of August 22, 2015 is a testament to the professionalism, training and dedication of the Troy Police Department and represents the best of what our city has to offer. The Law Enforcement Badge of Bravery, which recognizes extraordinary acts of law enforcement officers, honors the service and sacrifice of Officer Comitale who put his own life on the line in the protection of our residents. On behalf of the city of Troy, I express our gratitude to Officer Comitale and all our law enforcement officers who daily put the safety and security of the community above their own,” said Mayor Patrick Madden.

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