SVSU police officer gets national recognition for response to Koenig shooting
(6/23/2020) - A Saginaw Valley State University police officer received national recognition Tuesday for his response to a fellow officer being shot last year.
Ryan Persails of the SVSU police department received the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Award for Valor during a virtual awards ceremony.
He responded to calls for help after Saginaw Township Police Officer Jeff Koenig got shot in the line of duty during a traffic stop near the intersection of Bay and Tittabawassee roads on Jan. 22, 2019.
Koenig had pulled over Joshua Rosebush. He allegedly told the officer "Nighty night" before shooting Koenig in the jaw and the shoulder.
“In my mind, as I’m driving there, I’m thinking, ‘Is this going to be an ambush?,’” Persails said. “I was expecting the worst at first, but by the time I got there, I forgot all that. I was focused on helping Officer Koenig.”
Perails and Saginaw Township Police Det. Greg Remer helped Koenig into the back of Remer’s vehicle and rushed him to Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw.
“You could tell Jeff was in pain, but it was a good sign that he was talking,” Persails said. “We just wanted to make sure he was calm while we were getting him to the hospital.”
Koenig underwent multiple surgeries to repair facial injuries and was present during Rosebush's trial. Rosebush eventually was convicted of the shooting and sentenced to a long prison term.
Persails, a 10-year veteran officer with SVSU, knew Koenig before the shooting. He called the incident an eye-opening experience that put his career in closer perspective.
"It really opens your eyes to the kind of danger you can find yourself in as a police officer,” Persails said. “Ninety-nine percent of the people we run into are good people, but there’s always that danger.”