The IACP has announced that OHP Trooper Brian Costanza #598 has been selected as a Southern Region Finalist for the 2016 IACP/Motorola Trooper of the Year Award.
The IACP/Motorola Trooper of the Year Award program recognizes some of the most courageous and dedicated officers in law enforcement. The winner of this year’s award will be announced April 12 at the Trooper of the Year Award Banquet at the IACP Division Midyear Conference in Arizona.
Costanza was nominated for the award for his role in the October manhunt for fugitive Michael Vance, who had shot two Wellston police officers and fled in a stolen police car. Over the next few days Vance carjacked another car, fired at a witness, murdered two people in Luther, shot a man he had attempted to kidnap in Sayre, shot and injured the Dewey County sheriff, and stole another vehicle.
From Oct. 24 through Oct. 30, a nationwide manhunt was underway.
On Oct. 30, Vance was spotted in the area of Hammon, Oklahoma. Trp. Costanza and other Troopers pursued Vance into Custer County and continued the pursuit after Vance ran through a roadblock.
Vance fired numerous shots at Costanza, who was the lead car in the pursuit. Costanza and other Troopers returned fire, killing Vance and bringing his week-long crime spree to an end.
DPS Commissioner Michael C. Thompson said, “I am very proud of Trooper Brian Costanza, mostly because Brian embodies the core values of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for the last 80 years. I am grateful Trooper Costanza was able to help bring Michael Vance’s violent rampage to an end before anyone else was harmed.”