July 26, 2021 12:34

Massachusetts police sergeant honored; ‘It was the most challenging day in my career’

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — A year ago to the day, Westborough Police Sgt. Jon Kalagher was faced with the most chilling call in his 32-year career.

A woman had been stabbed by her husband inside their Windsor Ridge apartment, and he was still trying to kill her, MetroWest Daily News reported.

As Kalagher raced to the location, he learned from dispatchers that the woman had escaped to a neighboring apartment, but that her husband was pounding on the door.

Sgt. Kalagher

Sgt. Jon Kalagher (Photo via MetroWest Daily News)

Amid the pressure of a life and death call, dispatchers worked to pull up maps of the sprawling complex in order to direct Kalagher to the right apartment.

“Just get me in the arena. Just give me a chance,” he thought as he scanned the streets, seeing nothing.

Meanwhile, the husband used a brick to smash his way inside a glass sliding door.

Dispatchers listened as the man — later found to have two knives — renewed his attack.

In a series of events he finds miraculous, Kalagher ended up finding the two struggling on a patio outside of the apartment, just as the man was stabbing his wife in chest.

“The knife is literally inside her, and he’s pressed against her,” said Kalagher, who ended up firing four rounds at the suspect, thus saving the woman’s life.

“If I’m a few minutes later, it’s over,” said Kalagher, who Tuesday was recognized as a 2019 recipient of the State Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Medal of Valor.

“I can’t tell you how proud we are of him,” Chief Jeffrey Lourie told attendees at the outdoor ceremony held at the Westborough High School football field.

MEDAL OF VALOR CEREMONY

Kalagher, a town native who graduated from Westborough High, received praise from multiple state officials at the ceremony, including the secretary and undersecretary of the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Daily News reported.

“If Sergeant Kalagher did not intervene and respond as quickly as he did, the victim would no longer be alive,” said Undersecretary Terrence Reidy.

The suspect died as a result of the valiant actions taken by Kalagher.

Reidy said Kalagher’s actions were deemed “heroic,” and are even more commendable in an age in which it’s “really hard to do your duty” as a police officer.

“He stepped up,” Reidy said, saluting Kalagher for running toward danger.

Jon Kalagher
Westborough Police Sgt. Jon Kalagher (Michael Daniels/Westborough Police Department)

In an emotional speech Tuesday, Kalagher said the last year has been a difficult one.

“It was the most challenging day in my career,” Kalagher said, pausing to collect himself as he thanked the victim “for having the courage to fight off her attacker.”

Kalagher saluted the woman for running to her neighbors and thanked the neighbors for “putting themselves at grave risk” to buy the time needed for him to arrive.

Furthermore, Kalagher thanked Westborough Police Department dispatchers Pamela Orlando and Maryann Silva for doing a “great job” under extreme circumstances, along with the firefighters who helped to save the victim’s life.

The Medal of Valor is the second-highest award a police officer can receive during the annual State Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery. 

 

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