The 28th annual National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) Top Cops Awards dinner was held on October 15 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the celebration of in-person events during National Police Weekend. One officer from California was among the recipients of this year’s prestigious Top Cops Award. San Diego police officer Jonathan Wiese — a PORAC and San Diego POA member — was honored for heroically rescuing two toddlers and their father from drowning last summer.
On the morning of June 13, 2020, Wiese received a call about a suicidal man who had planned to drive off a bridge with his twin 2-year-old daughters. While searching for the man’s pickup truck, he heard a radio report of a crash at Sunset Cliffs. When Wiese and other officers arrived on scene, they saw the truck upside down, smashed on a rock, with the cab underwater. “I could see [the father] and he had one of the girls in his arms, and I have a 2-year-old daughter at home, so I imagined, what if that was my wife and kid down there? You’re not going to stand there on the cliff and watch it happen,” Wiese told ABC 10 News. Acting quickly and decisively, and with the help of other officers, Wiese, a K-9 officer, rappelled down a 30-foot drop using a 100-foot dog leash and swam to the crash site. He hoisted the girls up the cliff to a waiting ambulance, and then waited with the father for a fire-rescue helicopter to arrive to retrieve them both.
San Diego P.D. Chief David Nisleit commended Wiese for his bravery, telling reporters, “That’s probably the most heroic thing I’ve seen in my 32 years.”
Each year, NAPO holds the Top Cops Awards to educate the public about our nation’s heroes and to pay tribute to law enforcement officers in federal, state, county, tribal and local agencies from across the country for actions above and beyond the call of duty. PORAC congratulates Officer Jonathan Wiese on this incredible achievement!