It is an experience most Americans can only experience by watching or listening to, the Presidential State of the Union Address. For one Omaha Police Sergeant though he will get to be on hand as President Trump makes his first State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Sgt. Jeff Kopietz will be the guest of Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon as the President addresses the country from the U.S. Capitol Building. Kopietz is a 25 year veteran of the Omaha Police Department's S.W.A.T. team and has served over 1,000 high risk warrants during that time.
One of the warrants he was on hand to serve was to a suspect that would open fire on officers as they attempted to apprehend him in May of 2015. That was a day that would stay with OPD officers for the rest of their lives as Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed in the line of duty. Kopietz returned fire with the suspect, killing him. His actions that day earned Kopietz a Medal of Valor and now nearly three years later has brought him to Washington D.C.
Kopietz tells NewsRadio 1110 KFAB that being invited to the State of the Union by Congressman Bacon is an incredible honor. "This is something I never would have dreamed being invited to."
In the forefront of his mind though, Kopietz says he acknowledges that he was invited, in part, because of the death of Kerrie. Kopietz says he wishes that wasn't the case. "A great honor to be here, but I would trade anything to not even be in consideration to be here at this time."
Congressman Bacon says although the death of Kerrie Orozco was a tragedy, he is proud of the work that Kopietz and the Omaha Police Department has done. “I have much respect for the work our law enforcement does every day and felt that honoring Sgt. Kopietz was a way to show my thanks for their dedication to our communities. Our first responders put their physical safety and lives on the line every day they go to work.”
Kopietz will carry the memory of Kerrie with him as he makes a number of stops around the nation's capital on his trip and will never forget what got him there. The state of the Union Address can be heard live on NewsRadio 1110 KFAB at 8:00.