New York State Troopers Donald Atkinson and Lawrence Gurdo are State Police Officers of the Year.

The two troopers rescued a 14 year old girl as she was pulled into an intake at the Whitney Point Dam last year.

The girl was swimming in a restricted area when she was caught by the strong current and pulled into the dam tunnel last July.

Trooper Atkinson heard the girl’s screams for help, but could not see her.  He took off his utility belt and entered the cold water to swim toward the teen.  The current also began to pull him, but Atkinson managed to get to the swimmer

A passerby got a length of rope to the Trooper and girl so she could be secured and pulled to safety.

The 14 year old was treated for hypothermia and fully recovered.

The officers were presented award medals by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul during a ceremony at the Whitney Point Middle School July 14.




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