WILLIAMS TWP, MI -- A Michigan State Police officer at the Tri-City Post has been selected as this year's sole winner of a national award honoring heroic acts and community service in law enforcement.
Sgt. Joseph Rowley, a 17-year veteran of the department, was chosen for the American Legion's 2017 National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and will receive the award in August in Reno, Nevada.
Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser said Rowley is a leader who often seeks out opportunities to help co-workers and their families.
Rowley coordinated and planned the Michigan State Police Trooper Jeff Werda Memorial Baseball Tournament in Gladwin, Kaiser said.
Werda was killed on duty in 2011 when he lost control of his vehicle during a car chase in Saginaw County's Chapin Township and was ejected from his patrol car.
In his off time, Rowley volunteers for Camp Quality Michigan, which provides services and opportunities for children with cancer at no cost to their families, Kaiser said.
On duty, Rowley is a firearms and defensive tactics instructor for the department as well as a field training officer at the Michigan State Police Tri-City Post, where he is based, Kaiser said.
Rowley is an accomplished investigator, Kaiser said.
Rowley was among five people in the running for the national award.
"Each year, the American Legion honors an officer who has performed heroic acts, exceeded what's expected and demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service along with professional achievement," Kaiser said in a statement.
He was first selected as the American Legion's Michigan Officer of the Year and then the Central Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
In 2000, Rowley enlisted with state police and graduated as a member of the 119th Trooper Recruit School, Kaiser said.