Photos by MAP Editor Jennifer Gomori                                                                                   Trenton Police Sgt. Steve Lyons (center) holds his MAP Officer of the Year Award. Lyons is accompanied by his co-workers (from left) Chief Todd Scheffler, Police and Fire Director Steve Voss and to Sgt. Lyons' right, his uncle Rich Lyons, a retired Trenton Police Lieutenant, Lt. Rick Tanguay and MAP Executive Board President Mike Hawkins, a Trenton Police Lieutenant.


By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor with excerpts from news media

Trenton Police Sgt. Stephen Lyons was honored as the first MAP Officer of the Year for saving the life of a woman who drove her vehicle into the Detroit River Dec. 17, 2018.

Sgt. Lyons was presented the inaugural 2019 MAP Officer of the Year Award during MAP’s Annual Holiday Open House Dec. 13. State Senator Gary Peters wrote a letter honoring Lyons’ heroic actions, which Jim Curran of Karoub Associates read during the Open House.

“In your job every day, you have shown courage, leadership and heroism,” wrote Sen. Peters. “It is officers such as yourself that make Michigan a great place to live.”

Sgt. Steve Lyons (center) with his proud aunt and uncle, Michelle and Rich Lyons, who is also a former MAP Executive Board member.

Lyons and other Trenton Officers arrived on scene near the corner of West Road and Riverside Drive around 3:50 p.m. to see the woman’s SUV being pulled downriver by the strong current. They quickly searched the area for a way to reach the vehicle. Lyons discovered a kayak and paddle near a neighboring home and Trenton Officer Alex Blum pulled the kayak over to the river while Lyons removed his body armor and gear.

Lyons paddled over to the SUV and used the paddle to break a vehicle window. He reached inside the sinking SUV with the paddle and the driver grabbed onto it, pulling the paddle from Lyons hands as the car sank underwater. Seconds later, the woman and the paddle emerged from the frigid water. Sgt. Lyons grabbed ahold of her with one arm while using the other to paddle toward shore.

Once he was close enough, Trenton Fire Fighters threw a life preserver to Sgt. Lyons and pulled the two safely to shore.

The driver was transported to the hospital where she recovered. She was charged with Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.

Sgt. Lyons was treated for exposure to the 36-degree water inside an ambulance at the scene. While in the ambulance, a young woman approached him and thanked Sgt. Lyons for saving her mother, despite everything her family had put him through.

Ironically, he discovered later, the woman’s family was involved in a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Trenton and four Trenton Officers, including himself. All Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing and the family had just lost their final appeal in the case just prior to the water rescue.

The woman survived thanks to the quick thinking and immediate reaction of Sgt. Lyons, who risked his life to save the victim. Lyons was awarded the 2018 Trenton Officer of the Year, a Medal of Valor from his department, and a Police Medal of Valor from Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

“His courage and commitment are just a couple of the tremendous assets that he exhibits consistently while serving the residents and visitors in the City of Trenton,” Trenton Police Chief Todd Scheffler wrote in his Police Medal of Valor nomination letter.