On September 5, representatives from NNSA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the Livermore Field Office (LFO), and others gathered to honor LLNL Security Police Officer Michael Rodriguez with the NNSA Bronze Medal Award.
“The Bronze Medal recognizes an individual’s exemplary accomplishment of their assigned responsibilities in a manner that reflects an unrelenting devotion to their duty under adverse or challenging conditions,” said LFO Manager Pete Rodrik. “Officer Rodriguez’s actions on the evening of May 29 embodied the spirit of this award.”
Just before midnight on May 29, Rodriguez conducted a perimeter patrol of the lab in his patrol car. After seeing a car that was driving fast and erratically, he prepared to pursue it. The vehicle changed direction and sped toward him, crashing into his patrol car and severely damaging it. He called the LLNL Central Alarm Station for help. Before Rodriguez got out of the car, though, he shined a spotlight on the other vehicle to see if anyone was injured.
He couldn’t open his patrol car’s driver side door due to the damage and had to crawl out the passenger door. Once he did, Rodriguez saw someone running away from the other vehicle and toward a facility gate and started chasing him.
Soon after the chase began, however, the person changed direction and confronted Rodriguez aggressively – threatening him and challenging him to use deadly force. Rodriguez relied on his experience and training to maintain control of the situation until additional officers arrived. Together, they were able to restrain the person and turn them over to the Livermore Police Department.
LFO Assistant Manager for Security Michael Flynn delivered Rodriguez a citation from Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, the Department of Energy’s Under Secretary and NNSA Administrator.
The citation read: “Officer Rodriguez’s actions were exemplary and serve as a standard of excellence for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Protective Force Division.”