Earlier this week, New Bedford police officer Michael Carrier was awarded the Medal of Valor for his act of selfless bravery in his attempt to save an armed, suicidal man earlier this year.

Officer Carrier has been on the force since 1992, and over the past 30 years has dedicated his time and effort to be an exemplary officer.

“He has worked in narcotics, the crimes division, he has been a detective, a community police officer, and now he’s back on patrol,” Lt. Scott Carola said. “He’s done it all.”

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The Medal of Valor is awarded by the Massachusetts Police Association. It is the highest and most coveted award that an officer can receive for selfless bravery.

“Many officers will go their entire career, being brave nonetheless, but not necessarily getting the opportunity to earn (this award),” said Carola. “It doesn’t get handed out to just anyone and it’s not easy to get.”

In Carrier’s 30 years as a New Bedford officer, he has accomplished a lot, but earlier this year, he proved that he belongs among the select few who are honored with the Medal of Valor, thanks to his fearlessness in running toward danger instead of away from it.

“We received a call to assist a male who reported being suicidal,” Carola said. “Carrier made his way to the residence, managed to gain entry, and once inside, he found the male has a pistol in his hand.”

The man attempted to fire the gun on himself, but the gun jammed. That’s when Carrier took the opportunity to dive in and grab the gun from the distressed man.

“I wouldn’t blame any (officer) for backing out of the apartment and away from a potential threat, but Carrier’s mind went another way; the selfless way,” Carola said. “He lunged forward at a great risk to himself.”

Carola feels fortunate to have an officer like Carrier on his side.

“It feels good to know we have that caliber of an officer in our ranks that are willing to act under strenuous situations and exemplify the type of bravery we have come to expect from police in society,” he said.

Officer Carrier declined to comment, simply stating to his lieutenant that he did not wish for any special treatment. He was simply doing his job.

“You have to twist his arm to give him any sort of accolades,” Carola joked.

Humble in nature and laser-focused in the field, Officer Michael Carrier continues to make the city of New Bedford proud. His latest achievement is so clearly deserved.

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is available. Dial the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or visit 988lifeline.org. 

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