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Holland police officer to receive outstanding service award

A Holland public safety officer has been tapped for an Outstanding Service Award from the Law Enforcement Education Program. (WWMT/City of Holland)

A Holland public safety officer has been tapped for an Outstanding Service Award from the Law Enforcement Education Program.

Officer Joseph Slenk will be honored during a Sept. 21, 2018, awards program in Traverse City, Michigan.

The award is designed to recognize officers who exhibit bravery and dedication to their profession, and for putting their lives at risk by saving others.

Slenk is one of four officers in Michigan who will receive the award. Three others are from Jackson, Michigan.

Slenk’s honor stemps from an incident in April, when he saved the life of an Olive Township woman, Mary Hartman, who was being held at gunpoint by her husband.

Slenk fatally shot the man after the suspect came out of the home pointing a gun at his wife's head and refused to drop the weapon.

Slenk is a Special Enforcement Team member and K-9 handler for the Holland department. He has also served as an evidence technician, a West Michigan Enforcement Team detective and field training officer. In 2015, he was honored as an officer of the year by the Holland Department.

“As a member of SET, I have had a lot of shooting and tactical experience including training and shooting out of the hatch of our armored vehicle at targets,” Slenk said. “We train monthly together as a team and one area of our training areas would be hostage rescue. Without any doubt, having done this type of training helped this outcome in saving Mary Hartman’s life.

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