VSP trooper who rescued girl in Cambridge named finalist for international award

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MONTPELIER — Vermont State Police Trooper Michelle Archer has been named as one of four finalists for the prestigious International Association of Chiefs of Police/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Award. This recognition is given annually to state troopers and provincial police officers who exhibit exceptional bravery, courage, leadership, and professionalism.

Archer’s nomination came from Vermont State Police Director Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, following her heroic actions in December.

She rescued an 8-year-old girl who had fallen into a frozen pond in Cambridge. Demonstrating selflessness and bravery, Archer swam through the frigid waters to save the drowning child.

Col. Birmingham praised Trooper Archer, stating, “At great risk to her personal safety, she swam through near-freezing water, reached the drowning girl and pulled her to shore. Without Trooper Archer’s selfless conduct, the outcome could have been tragic.”

He also noted Archer’s humility, emphasizing her focus on the well-being of the child, who has since fully recovered.

Finalists for the IACP/Motorola Solutions Trooper of the Year Award are selected by members of the IACP’s State and Provincial Police Division, representing four regions. The overall winner will be announced at a banquet on March 14 in San Antonio, Texas.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott commended Trooper Archer, saying, “The actions of Trooper Archer, and those of Trooper Keith Cote, who arrived moments later to assist in the rescue, reflect the best traditions of the Vermont State Police and its core values of courage, honor and integrity.”

Trooper Archer, who joined the Vermont State Police in January 2018, is also a member of the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue Team and serves as a Field Training Officer. Her career has been primarily at the Williston Barracks, with a special assignment at the Derby Barracks in 2021.

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