Officer Diana Dunigan, Philadelphia Police Department
Diana Dunigan is a 10-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, an NRA Life Member and an NRA-certified police firearm instructor. She serves in the department's Mounted Patrol Division, riding Apache, a 7-year-old thoroughbred.
On July 14, 1997, Officer Dunigan was on mounted patrol with another female officer when she observed a man breaking into a vehicle. She dismounted and approached to investigate. Seeing the officer, the man fled to an accomplice's car, which the pair used to run Officer Dunigan down. Striking her, the suspect pinned Officer Dunigan's left leg under the vehicle and dragged her several feet before she could get clear.
The suspects then made a second attempt to strike her. Ignoring her injuries, Officer Dunigan responded by reaching into the vehicle to subdue her assailants and, with the aid of her partner, placed them under arrest. Only then did Officer Dunigan allow herself to be rushed to a hospital for emergency medical treatment. In the months since, she has undergone several surgeries and extensive rehabilitation to restore full use of her leg.
Officer Dunigan is a skilled NRA Police Pistol Combat shooter with several state, regional and national titles and a number of national Police Pistol Combat records.
She is a firm believer in firearm safety and education and has devoted an enormous amount of time instructing women in the Philadelphia area about gun safety, shooting proficiency, personal protection, home safety and self-assertiveness. As a liaison between local businesses and the Philadelphia Police Department, she conducts community-based meetings on drug problems, home safety evaluations and town watch programs.
Officer Dunigan's unswerving devotion to duty, her outstanding record of service to her department and to the community, her commitment to the NRA and its goals and her extraordinary heroism in the face of extreme personal danger are traits worthy of great praise and emulation by her fellow officers and NRA members.
The NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award was established in 1993 and recognizes exceptional Valor, Public Service, or Dedication to the Principles of our Constitutional Heritage.