A Houston, Texas officer, recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound, has been chosen as a finalist in the 2010 AMW All-Star Contest. On March 5, 2009, Senior Officer Richard Salter and a squad of cops prepared to serve a narcotics search warrant to a suspected heroin dealer. As the officers moved in on the property, the suspect stood inside monitoring his elaborate surveillance system, armed with a gun aimed directly at the front door. The officers knocked and announced themselves, but when they received no response, they forced entry. Officer Salter, the leading man, entered the house and was immediately struck with a bullet to the face. Three officers returned fire, ultimately leading to the suspect's death.
Officer Salter sustained critical injuries that left him partially blind and paralyzed on his left side. Since the confrontation, he has been tirelessly focusing on his rehabilitation. Miraculously, he is now able to walk again. He continues his aggressive daily physical therapy, but has been forced to consider early retirement due to the severity of injuries and the on-going, difficult recovery process.
To reward his bravery, Officer Salter was honored on October 21, 2009 with the Star of Texas Award, an annual recognition presented to Texas Peace Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical First Responders who have been seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.
Officer Salter is the fourth of eight weekly finalists to be chosen by the public in this year’s AMW All-Star Contest. Any member of the public can nominate and vote for their favorite first-responder online. The nomination process is simple: Go to AMW.com to fill out a short form naming your top choice and explain what makes this person an All-Star.
Each weekly finalist will be profiled on America’s Most Wanted (Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on FOX). Through online votes, the public will choose the grand-prize winner. In May, AMW Host John Walsh will present the 2010 AMW All-Star winner with a check for $10,000 at the NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series™ All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Nominations are open at AMW.com until noon (ET) on April 3, 2010. Members of the public may vote for their favorite first responder once a day, every day. Finalist voting runs through April 11th and the grand-prize winner voting will run April 15th-May 3rd. Please visit amw.com/allstar for more information.