Officer Adam Sosnowski
“I remember looking at the gun thinking, ‘Wow, that’s real.’ It’s amazing how your training kicks in.”
Manalapan Township Police Department K-9 Officer Adam Sosnowski recounts what happened during his shift one night in August 2018. A call came in about an allegedly suicidal man, a person Officer Sosnowski knew from prior incidents. In fact, Officer Sosnowski had been at a call earlier when the same man was transported to the hospital for an evaluation.
Officer Sosnowski describes what happened when he went up to the house and convinced the man to come outside: “He came out and appeared agitated, but the next thing you know, he reaches into his front pocket and pulls a handgun out.”
Officer Sosnowski believes the man pointed the gun at him because he wanted to be shot and killed, but luckily, thanks to Sosnowski’s quick actions and training, a “suicide by cop” scenario was avoided.
Sosnowski’s police chief, Michael Fountain, says that a physical struggle ensued between Sosnowski and the man, but his officer managed to free the firearm from the man’s hand and subdue and handcuff him. Sosnowski says the man indicated that he wanted the officer to shoot him.
Chief Fountain says, “Officer Sosnowski responded to what he thought was a deadly force situation with courage and the will to win.” For these heroic actions, Officer Sosnowski is being award the Valor Award by the 200 Club of Monmouth County on June 7, 2019. Valor Awards are the highest award given out by the Club to first responders who go above and beyond the call of duty, often putting their own lives in jeopardy to save the life of another.
“Well, my whole job is what-ifs. Almost every call you are thinking what if, what if, what if. You try to prepare yourself before the actual situation happens. Like every call you get, you are driving going through scenarios, this could happen, that could happen, just kinda trying to prepare yourself. I guess it may have ran through my head. I never thought that exact thing would happen at that moment. I’m just glad my past training kicked in. I’m just glad. It could have went way different, you are right. If there was more distance between us, it may have went differently. I'm glad it worked out the way it did, and I was as close as I was to him… ‘cause he’s alive now and not hurt.”
Officer Sosnowski added, “I am definitely not a hero. There are definitely many other heroes in the world. I just think it was the right circumstances at the right time, with the right person. Thank God I had the proper training.”
When asked how he felt about being honored with the Valor Award, he said, “Anything pro-law enforcement is amazing. And, the 200 Club is definitely the top of the top in New Jersey, and it truly is an honor to even be recognized by them.”