A seemingly routine traffic stop turned scary for Garden City Police Officer Stephen Oswald when he realized the driver he pulled over was reaching for a loaded gun under his seat.
For remaining "cool under fire with his life in danger and for his
excellent record of service with the Garden City Police Department"
Supervisor Kate Murray honored Officer Oswald with a 2012 Police
He was among 14 officers recognized for outstanding service during a ceremony in late September. "Today's
police officers and detectives are vital members of our communities,"
Murray said. "They work with community enrichment programs and face the
dangers and difficulties associated with the fight against crime."
The scene played out Aug. 4 at 3:25 a.m. when Oswald stopped the vehicle after observing it traveling westbound crossing over the
center lane markings before turning unsafely without signaling onto
Meadow Place, according to a village police report.
It was discovered during the
investigation that the driver, a male 28-year-old from Hempstead, was in
possession of a .22 caliber Derringer.
He was arrested and charged
with possession of a weapon, felony DWI due to a prior DWI, aggravated
unlicensed operation first degree (license was suspended for a prior
DWI), two lane violations and unsafe turn. It was also determined during processing that the subject had an
outstanding New York State felony parole warrant.
Police Commissioner Kenneth Jackson said Officer Oswald, who primarily works the village's east side, "does all he can to keep the area safe."
"He was able to get him out of the car and when he searched the car there was a loaded firearm," Jackson said. "Not only did he get an award for that, he also got an award for his outstanding service over the past year with over 30 DWIs and other arrests."
Mayor Don Brudie added, "He keeps his eyes open, as I'm sure all of our police officers do, and doesn't let even a minor thing go by him."