Left to right: PARADE Contribution Editor Larry Smith, Officer Roy Gilbert, IACP President Joseph C. Carter, and Detroit Police Department Chief Ella Bully-Cummings. Photo courtesy Parade magazine
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Officer Roy Gilbert of the Detroit Police Department was named IACP and PARADE Magazine 2007 Police Officer of the Year for saving his partner.
On Dec. 30, 2006, Gilbert and his partner, Officer John McKee, were following a carjacked vehicle. When the driver suddenly stopped and fled down an alley, Gilbert gave chase on foot. McKee followed in the patrol car as the suspect ran into a parking lot. The guy ran behind my car, McKee says, and I got out and went to tackle him. He reached over and shot me in the face.
Gilbert ran to his partner and began firing back at the suspect. This guy was not going down, he recalls. Maneuvering between McKee and the gunman, Gilbert fired 11 times. The suspect died at the hospital later that night.
Roy saved my life, most definitely, says McKee, who is returning to patrol following months of recovery. If Roy hadn t been there, the guy would ve finished me off.
Gilbert shrugs off the hero label. I did what partners are supposed to do.
Gilbert received the award at this year s IACP conference in New Orleans.