The Medal of Valor is awarded to a member of the department that demonstrates heroic action and conspicuous valor above and beyond the call of duty, disregarding imminent personal risk of death or serious injury to themselves.
The award is issued in the form of a medal that can be worn on the class a dress uniform, a ribbon bar that can be worn on the everyday class b patrol uniform and a letter of authenticity from the Chief of Police.
On February 16th at 6:42 pm, Officer Onken assisted the Dane County Sheriff’s Office with a vehicle pursuit that had entered and proceeded the Village, ending at an address just outside the Village. The suspect was very large and was suffering a severe mental crisis. He was highly volatile, and was violent and combative with the officers.
While in the course of assisting the Deputy in apprehending the suspect, Officer Onken was shoved into a parked vehicle, shoved head first through an aluminum screen door, and thrown back first to the ground. The subject then climbed on top of Officer Onken and began choking him. At this point, Officer Onken would have been legally justified to utilize a high level of force against this suspect.
Instead, he was able to talk the suspect into releasing his choke hold, and ultimately getting off of him. The suspect was taken into custody unharmed and is alive today thanks to Officer Onken’s actions.