On Dec. 28, 2016, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Metro West Highway Patrol office received a unique phone call.
The phone call came from Senior Trooper James O’Connor with the Oregon Department of State Police.
He called to reach out to the AZDPS Troopers in Metro West because he was on a mission to help a fellow comrade who had been severely injured in the line-of-duty.
Oregon State Police Trooper Nic Cederberg received multiple gunshot wounds and was critically injured in a Christmas night shootout. Cederberg was shot 12 times at a distance no greater than 12 feet.
Five of those rounds were stopped by Cederberg’s bullet-proof vest. One bullet will be lodged in Cederberg’s lower spine for the rest of his life.
Trooper O’Connor came up with the idea of taking a picture of one of the new AZDPS silver and black police interceptors with a couple of Metro West troopers standing next to the patrol vehicle.
A special matted picture frame was brought in and a group e-mail that included all Metro West personnel was put out asking for troopers to come in and sign their name to the picture along with any personal messages for a quick and speedy recovery.
Several troopers came in during the day and throughout the night to sign the picture frame. The following day, Trooper O’Connor returned to the Metro West Highway Patrol office in Youngtown to put the picture inside the matted picture frame that included all the signatures.
He was very appreciative of all the Metro West personnel who took the time to come in to the office and sign the picture for his fellow state trooper. He then delivered the picture and frame to Cederberg when he returned to Oregon.
Note: On Jan. 12, 2017, Trooper Cederberg took another large step in his recovery by walking for the first time. He was only able to cover about six to ten feet before taking a short break, but it was much needed progress for him. Trooper O’Connor thanked Metro West for all the support with the signed picture and mentioned that these kinds of things will help Cederberg get through this and hopefully make a full recovery.