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Heather Fults and Nathan James earn the Oregon Peace Officers Association Medal of Honor

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Newberg-Dundee Police Officers Heather Fults and Nathan James were awarded the Oregon Peace Officers Association Medal of Honor at a banquet held Nov. 4.
A pair of local police officers were honored recently for their parts in saving a fellow officer during a gun battle in 2016 in Sherwood.

Newberg-Dundee Police Officers Heather Fults and Nathan James were awarded the Oregon Peace Officers Association Medal of Honor at a banquet held Nov. 4 at Spirit Mountain Resort in Grand Ronde attended by nearly 2,000 people.

The pair were recognized for their part in assisting Oregon State Police Trooper Nic Cederberg, a Newberg native, who was in pursuit of homicide suspect James Tylka on Christmas night 2016 and ended up in a gun fight in Sherwood. Tylka had murdered his estranged wife, Katelynn Tylka-Armand, in King City before fleeing.

Cederberg was shot 12 times during the confrontation with Tylka in a residential area in Sherwood. Fults and James responded to the scene along with other law enforcement personnel and worked to "eliminate the threat and saved the life of their fellow Brother in Blue," according to a release from the OPEA. "If not for Officers Fults and James' quick response, experience and knowledge of the local area, the outcome could have been different."

The OPEA, the release said, awards its Medal of Honor "to individuals who, while serving in an official capacity with their law enforcement agency, distinguish themselves conspicuously by the performance of a heroic act in excess of normal demands of police service, and where the person was fully aware of an imminent threat to his or her personal safety."

The recognition drew praise from the officers' boss, NDPD Chief Brian Casey: "The entire department is extremely proud of Officer Fults, Officer James and all of the other responding officers for their heroism, as well as Dispatcher Tiffany Valenzuela and Dispatch Supervisor Lauri Steinbeck who were on duty and played a significant role in this incident."

In addition, the NDPD was also awarded the OPEA's Critical Incident Response Award for its part in saving Cederberg.

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