Officer Of The Year
The Barnegat Police Department is proud to announce that Officer Lauren Keilitz has been selected as the 2012 Officer of the Year.
This prestigious award was created to recognize Barnegat police officers who have demonstrated exceptional achievement and leadership and who have shown a genuine commitment to their profession, their agency, and the public they serve.
On January 30th, 2012 Officer Keilitz was dispatched to a car fire and arrived to find the vehicle fully engulfed in flames. Through her quick assessment she determined with the help of neighbors that the victim was still in the vehicle.
Officer Keilitz braved intense heat, smoke, and flames to attempt to gain access to the vehicle. Through tenacious verbal commands and multiple attempts, she was able to get the victim (who was confused and not fully alert) to unlock the vehicle. At that time, despite the fact that the victim was a male who easily outweighed her, she disregarded her own safety and health to open the driver’s door, pull the victim from the vehicle, and drag him to safety despite being in imminent danger from the flames, heat, and smoke.
Even after the clear success of the rescue, Officer Keilitz maintained her professionalism and mission-orientation by assessing the victim for injury, further securing the scene, making sure that no one else was near or around the vehicle, and making sure that no other property was in danger.
There is no doubt that absent Officer Keilitz’s actions the victim would have perished.
In the aftermath of the rescue, Officer Keilitz served as an outstanding ambassador of not only our agency but of women in law enforcement during numerous local, regional, and national media telecasts.
Officer Keilitz appeared on numerous media broadcasts including Fox and Friends, WPIX 11 morning show, and Headline News in New York City. Video of her actions aired internationally on everything from webcasts to ABC’s Good Morning America.
Officer Keilitz is in her tenth year of service with the Barnegat Police Department. She is an agency firearms instructor and was the first female member of the agency’s multi-jurisdictional SWAT team.
Officer Keilitz is one of the most respected members of the Patrol Division and was nominated for the award by her peers.
Chief Drexler and all of the members of the agency offer their congratulations to Lauren on her outstanding achievement.