2021 Yagow Distinguished Service Award


On January 2, 2021, shortly after 4:00 pm, dispatch received a call that a male had pointed a gun at occupants in another vehicle in south Moorhead. As detailed suspect and vehicle information was broadcasted by officers on scene, Officer Dalton Yagow began searching the area in an attempt to locate. Officer Yagow discovered the suspect vehicle traveling south in a parking lot and was able to follow it while backup officers were positioning to assist. When the vehicle turned into another parking lot, Officer Yagow attempted to initiate a Felony Traffic Stop by activating his overhead emergency lights. While the vehicle continued moving slowly, the passenger’s door abruptly opened with a male getting out. The male had a long item in his hands that was determined to be a sawed off shotgun and proceeded to point it in Officer Yagow’s direction. Officer Yagow immediately put his car in park and exited his door. He simultaneously yelled for the suspect to drop his gun while he was un-holstering and drawing his own firearm. The suspect threw the shotgun on the ground and began to run on foot toward the apartment building entrance. Knowing there was another occupant in the vehicle, Officer Yagow provided this information over his radio to assisting officers. The female driver was taken into custody without incident and the suspect male was later located inside the apartment building subsequent to a search.

This dynamic incident was captured on Officer Yagow’s police car video camera and demonstrates outstanding decision-making and officer safety awareness in a very dangerous situation. His ability to remain calm, multi-task, and respond to a life-threatening situation one moment and self-de-escalate is a testament to his high level of training and focus.