Medal of Valor

Patrolman Ryan Hensperger, Patrolman Robert Thuring

On June 21, 2020 at 17:21 hours, Patrolman Ryan Hensperger and Patrolman Robert Thuring were dispatched to the area of Highway 18 South and Naricon Place on a report of a male walking in the center median.  While responding to the area, dispatch advised that they received additional calls that the male was now on the wrong side of the guardrail on the Highway 18 overpass over the New Jersey Turnpike.

Upon the arrival of the officers, they immediately observed that the male was on the outside portion of the railing, standing on a narrow ledge over the New Jersey Turnpike. Immediately recognizing that the male was in crisis, Patrolman Thuring engaged him and established a rapport. At the same time, Patrolman Hensperger provided support as he positioned himself to provide assistance for a potential rescue. As time passed, the officers realized that the male was becoming increasingly despondent and would not be convinced to return to safety. The officers coordinated with each other to grab hold of the male and physically pull him back over the bridge railing. The officers struggled with the male as he let go of the railing and resisted the rescue efforts. Ultimately, the officers were successful in bringing the male to safety. 

For their rapid response, proper use of training, determination, and heroic actions, which resulted in saving a life, the Department of Public Safety is proud to present Patrolman Ryan Hensperger and Patrolman Robert Thuring with this Medal of Valor Award.