LOCAL HERO BRANDEN STOCKFORD, who is a native of Owosso and a city of Owosso Police Officer, will receive the Medal of Valor from the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) Tuesday, June 21 at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs. The high honor will be awarded to Stockford for the bravery he displayed while pulling three people to safety from a burning house in Nov. 2015.

Stockford, an unassuming and humble public defender, said he was “just answering the call” on the night in question, and that he did not expect the honor of being awarded the Medal of Valor. Officer Stockford’s level-headed demeanor and unambiguous, by-the-book enforcement of the city’s laws are obvious strong points for the young officer, though Officer Stockford calls communication “key to being a successful police officer.”

“Communicating with residents is the most important part of the job,” Officer Stockford said Wednesday, June 15. “People will call us (police officers) every name in the book, but you can’t take it personally; you can’t take it home with you. There are certain times when there is no reasoning with a suspect, but most of the time you will get respect if you give it. I have been a police officer for a year and a half, and I realize that talking to people and making an effort to remember names really makes a big difference.”

Officer Stockford has been married for nearly a year, and he and his wife have a daughter. As a high school student at Owosso High School and then Swartz Creek High School, Stockford was set on becoming an electrician before discovering his passion for law enforcement while taking an elective criminal justice class during his senior year at Swartz Creek. In addition to utilizing his strong observational skills as a police officer, Stockford said the best part of his job is “doing something different every day” and not having to sit behind a desk for hours at a time.

Stockford graduated from the Wayne County Regional Police Acadamy in Livonia, and he looks forward to continuing his career in Owosso while advancing through the ranks of the department. He also said he would really enjoy working with a K-9 in the future, if the opportunity presents itself.

Owosso Public Safety Director, Kevin Lenkart, said he is “proud of Officer Stockford’s actions,” and praised him as “an excellent officer.” He listed Stockford’s good instincts and work ethic as strengths, saying, “He is well-respected by his fellow officers, even before his life-saving action last November.” He also said that Officer Stockford reflects the overall quality of the department. (Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

Local Police Officer Honored was last modified: June 20th, 2016 by Karen Elford