16 May 2017
PC Adam Koch survived a horrific knife attack which nearly killed him.
But it wasn’t his external injuries that left a lasting legacy, but the mental trauma of suffering such a life-changing injury.
Now he has become the first UK officer to be honoured by the Safariland SAVES Club, a scheme that recognises those who during the line of duty, have experienced a life-threatening incident in which their body armour contributed to saving their lives. He was presented with an award by Todd Mackler, the Vice President of Armour Division at the Police Federation of England & Wales’ annual conference.
This year’s conference theme ‘Protecting the Protectors’ makes clear the need for better protection for officers assaulted in the course of their duties, including better equipment and welfare support.
PC Koch suffered wounds to his chest and stomach when a man lunged at him with a commando-style knife at a mosque in Birmingham in June 2013.
Responding to reports of a disturbance at the mosque, during which three worshippers had been stabbed, PC Koch and a colleague confronted the knifeman and attempted to subdue him with a Taser, which he “shrugged off”.
PC Koch managed to wrestle the suspect to the ground and disarm him with help of his colleague and worshippers before realising he had been stabbed.
He is convinced his stab vest prevented his injuries from being fatal. After receiving his award PC Koch said: “The SAVES club offers a fantastic support network for those affected by incidents like mine. It has put me in touch with other officers that have suffered a similar trauma and I hope to help kick-start something similar for colleagues affected in the UK.”
PC Koch and his colleague have also received a commendation from their Chief Constable for preventing more worshippers being hurt and potentially killed.