West Liberty University Campus Police Officer Michael Markis Receives Silver Star for Bravery

By Nicole Henry, Contributing Writer

On Nov. 5 in the Boyle Conference Center, John Davis presented Officer Michael Markis with the Silver Star of Bravery.

“The Silver Star is awarded for extraordinary heroism performed in the line of duty. It distinguishes an officer whose act of courage goes above and beyond the call of duty,” writes Maureen Zambito.

The event that occurred on Sept. 12 gave Officer Markis that opportunity to become a hero.

Officer Markis was informed by Ohio County dispatch about a male who was armed, in a blue car stalking a female in the town of West Liberty. After being informed, Officer Markis noticed a blue vehicle that matched the description the Ohio County dispatch gave him. He then approached the suspect in the car, with his duty weapon in hand. He then ordered the suspect to place his hands on the steering wheel. The female in the car informed him that the suspect had a gun. The suspect turned to officer Markis with the gun.

Markis then knocked the gun out of his hand, holstered his duty weapon, pulled the suspect out of the car, forced him to the ground and handcuffed him. Markis then searched the suspect further for identification and other possible weapons. WLU Executive Vice President and General Counsel John Davis, who oversees the campus police department said, “It’s amazing that Mike decided — in a heartbeat — not to use deadly force to protect the female victim and himself. This incident underscores the true risks that law enforcement officers everywhere face every day, every shift.” After searching, he found that the gun was a BB gun and he also found a knife in the car.

The national awards program, which began in 1972, last awarded a Silver Star for Bravery in West Virginia in 2012 when it issued one in Glasgow, W.Va. and a second one in Martinsburg, W.Va., according to APHF awards secretary Janet Caron. Due to Markis’ bravery and heroic action, he is recognized and presented with such a great award and honor.
“We’re proud to congratulate Officer Makris on this impressive award. The Silver Star for Bravery is a national honor that points to his dedication and exceptional bravery in the line of duty,” said President Robin C. Capehart.

“West Liberty University Campus Police is dedicated to providing excellence in service to the campus community, as it provides 24-hour-a-day patrol to the grounds, parking lots, residence halls, academic buildings and the faculty housing area,” states Maureen Zambito.