Fontana Officer Matthew Rodgers is honored for leadership during two high stress incidents | News

During the month of March, Officer Matthew Rodgers was involved in two high stress incidents on patrol in which he demonstrated calmness, professionalism, and leadership, according to the Fontana Police Department.

As a result, Rodgers was honored as the P.D.’s Sworn Employee of the Month.

—– THE FIRST INCIDENT occurred on March 19 at about 6:23 a.m., officers responded to the 16800 block of Village Lane regarding a stabbing in progress. The reporting party told dispatchers that the suspect had stabbed his girlfriend and her 16-year-old son.

Rodgers was the first officer to contact the suspect, who was still armed with the knife and being pinned down by a family member of the victim. The suspect was covered in blood and appeared to be under the influence.

Rodgers notified other officers on scene that the suspect was still armed and took control of the suspect from the family member. Rodgers was able to take the knife from the suspect.

As officers were struggling to handcuff the suspect, the suspect tried to reach for the knife again. Rodgers was able to control the suspect’s hand, and with the assistance of other officers, subdued the suspect and handcuffed him with minimal force.

Rodgers’ quick actions were crucial in avoiding a potentially lethal confrontation with the suspect, police said.

The victims and the suspect were all transported to local hospitals and survived their wounds.

—– THE SECOND INCIDENT occurred the next day, March 20.

At about 12:07 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of Foothill Boulevard and Maple Avenue regarding a male who was possibly driving while under the influence. The driver was stopping at green lights and running red lights.

Officer Randy McDowell located the vehicle and attempted to stop it; however, the vehicle failed to yield. After a short pursuit, the driver then yielded on Foothill, west of Cypress Avenue.

Officers Rodgers and Cody Chick responded to assist. The driver stopped in the westbound lanes of traffic on Foothill and refused to exit the vehicle. Officers were able to box the vehicle in with their units to prevent the subject from leaving.

Rodgers attempted to engage the subject, but he continued yelling, honking his horn, and ignoring commands to shut the vehicle off.

Rodgers formulated a plan and directed officers on scene. He distracted the subject on the passenger side of the vehicle by breaking the window, while McDowell and Chick controlled the subject and removed him from the vehicle.

Rodgers remained calm and professional and directed officers as they handcuffed the subject with minimal force. It was later determined that the subject was off his medication and having a mental health crisis.

“Although several officers were involved in the successful outcome of these incidents, Officer Rodgers is recognized for his initiative in taking a leadership role and providing guidance and direction to officers out in the field,” said Police Chief Billy Green.

Rodgers received a plaque from the City Council during a meeting in April.

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