PORTLAND, OR – Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Congressman Kurt Schrader joined with U.S. Marshal Russel Burger and U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall to present the Congressional Badge of Bravery to U.S. Deputy Marshal Vince Byford for his courageous actions during a 2010 standoff on the Warm Springs Reservation. Byford is the first Oregonian to be awarded the Congressional Badge of Bravery.
“Deputy Byford has had a distinguished career with the U.S. Marshal’s office, and his actions on July 22, 2010 will forever be remembered by the law enforcement and community members that he kept safe that day,” said Senator Merkley. “Vince showed incredible courage and grace under fire. I’m thrilled to be able to present him with the Congressional Badge of Bravery. It is well deserved.”
“It is with great respect that I present the Congressional Badge of Bravery to U.S. Deputy Marshall Vince Byford for his courage in the line of duty. His commitment to the safety of our communities and dedication to his fellow officers exemplify the spirit of our law enforcement and the character of the men and women who serve to protect our great nation,” Schrader said. “Vince is a great Oregonian and a great American.”
Deputy Byford was part of the Oregon Fugitive Task Force attempting to capture a fugitive at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation on July 22, 2010. The fugitive had warrants in Madras, Oregon for nine counts of attempted murder and had holed up in a residence on the Warm Springs reservation. The fugitive started a fire fight with law enforcement and had vowed to kill as many police as possible before being taken down.
Deputy Byford was positioned with a rifle behind a tree about 40 yards from the residence. After nearly being hit twice by the fugitive, Deputy Byford repositioned himself and called for his other team members to move to better cover. While continuing to provide cover to team members, Deputy Byford was able to see the barrel of the fugitive’s rifle and return fire. The fugitive was hit in the torso and shortly afterward, surrendered to law enforcement.
“On July 22, 2010 Deputy Byford distinguished himself for his bravery during this standoff with a fugitive,” said U.S. Marshal Burger. “I have no doubt his courage under fire that day resulted in lives saved and I applaud our congressional delegation for recognizing him and awarding him with the congressional badge of bravery today.”
“The Congressional Badge of Bravery was created in 2008 and is awarded to law enforcement officers who exhibit exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness, and unusual swiftness of action—regardless of their own personal safety—in an attempt to save or protect human life,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “Deputy Byford is the first Oregonian to receive this honor and no one is more deserving. He is a true hero.”