***February Officer of the Month***
Officer M. Carter
Officer Michael Carter served for three combat tours with the United States Marine Corps, and reached the rank of Sergeant. While still on active duty, Officer Carter was hired as a Recruit for Tustin Police Department. After his honorable discharge he graduated from Golden West Criminal Justice Center Police Academy.
Officer Carter has seen the good and the bad that can come from serving in the military. He has made it his personal mission to respond to all veteran-related calls when he is on-duty, even if it is not in his area or it is close to or after the end of his shift. This was particularly true while working a voluntary overtime detail. A patrol officer was on a call involving a veteran who was having suicidal thoughts. Officer Carter responded, and together they were able to convince the veteran he needed help. They contacted the Veterans Affairs Hospital, and got him the services he needed.
In another incident, long past his scheduled shift, Officer Carter heard a call for a possible domestic violence involving a veteran and responded. The subject was initially very angry, but Officer Carter was able to develop a rapport with him and talked him through his anger. Officer Carter and his fellow officers got the veteran the help he so desperately needed.
Most recently, officers were conducting a welfare check on a subject whose family feared he was suicidal. The subject had barricaded himself inside his apartment and refused to talk to them. Officer Carter and another Tustin PD veteran responded to the scene. After an extended conversation through the closed door, the distraught man opened it to have a face-to-face conversation with his fellow veterans. Officers determined, while not suicidal, he was in need of help from the Veteran Affairs Hospital, and the OC Goodwill Tierney Center for Veteran Assistance.
It should be noted every veteran contact made by Officer Carter is not a one-time call-for-service. He makes a point to get other officers together, often veterans themselves, and follow-up with those they have helped. It is very important to Officer Carter that the Tustin veterans understand Tustin PD truly cares about their well-being. Officer Carter has made contact and followed up with nearly fifty veterans over the last few years.
Officer Carter worked with the OC Goodwill Tierney Center to develop a training program specific to military veterans in crisis for Tustin PD personnel, sworn and civilian. For his on-going dedication to the men and women of our Nation’s military who live in Tustin, Officer Michael Carter has been selected as the recipient of the February Officer of the Month Award. Congratulations Officer Michael Carter!