This week, thousands of police officers converged on the nation’s capital for Police Week. Among them were three Boston police officers who traveled to Washington D.C. to receive the nation’s highest police award. On Tuesday, May 12, 2015, Police Officer Ryan J. Lenane, Police Officer William F. Traft, and Sergeant Thomas J. Teahan of the Boston Police Department were presented the TOP COPS Award from the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO).
Since 1994, NAPO has presented the TOP COPS Award as a means to educate the American public about America’s heroes and to pay tribute to law enforcement officers in federal, state, county, and local agencies across the country for actions during the preceding year that rise above and beyond the call of duty. The recipients are nominated by fellow officers, then one TOP COPS case from each state is selected from hundreds of nominees by an independent awards selection committee. The top ten of these 50 cases will receive the 2015 TOP COPS Award.
The following account of the incident was recited as Sergeant Teahan, Officer Lenane, and Officer Traft were presented the 22nd Annual TOP COPS AWARD for their bravery:
THE BOSTON SPRINT
Boston. In triumph and in tragedy, it’s known for its marathon. But for three brave Boston P.D. officers, the incident they encountered on December 7, 2013 was a life and death sprint.
It was around 1:00 PM that Saturday when Youth Violence Strike Force Sergeant Thomas Teahan and Officers William Traft and Ryan Lenane were patrolling an area of Dorchester known for its violent gang activity, and they recognized a couple of gang members. They believed one of the men, 20-year-old Darryl Dookhran, had an active arrest warrant. As the officers pulled up, Sergeant Teahan and Officer Lenane got out of the car, while Officer Traft ran Dookhran’s info on the Mobile Data Terminal.
But before Teahan and Lenane could talk to the suspects, Dookhran ran off. As he did, his buddy tried to deter Officer Lenane. It didn’t work. Officer Lenane pushed him aside, and with Sergeant Teahan flanking him, the two men took off on foot in pursuit of Dookhran with Officer Traft not far behind.
It quickly turned into a running gun battle as Dookhran pulled out a semi-automatic and began firing. Dookhran had just completed a prison sentence for bringing a high capacity semiautomatic into a community college classroom and obviously had not learned his lesson.
Unfortunately, one of Dookhran’s shots found its mark and hit Officer Lenane in the left bicep. Officer Traft immediately came to Officer Lenane’s aid while Sergeant Teahan continued after Dookhran. Barely avoiding being struck by Dookhran’s shots, Sergeant Teahan took aim and returned fire.
As the running gun battle continued down the streets of Dorchester, Officer Traft helped the wounded Officer Lenane back on his feet, and soon they were near their fellow officer. Moments later these cops had Dookhran in their sights, and returning fire, struck him multiple times. While Dookhran would succumb to his wounds, thankfully Officer Lenane would recover from his.
Knowing they were in this potential deadly situation for “the long run,” these brave TOP COPS exemplify the spirit and determination of a city that will never give up and are truly “Boston Strong.”