Salem Police photo

The City of Salem’s Police Officer of the Year for 2017 is Cody Keen, a 25-year-old patrolman who hails originally from Richlands. Keen was cited for his work on two cases last year – one involving a woman trapped in a car filled with smoke, the other a drugstore robbery where Keen saw the suspect leaving with bags of prescription drugs. Keen hopes to become a detective some day with a focus on human trafficking crimes.

From Salem Police: Salem’s Police Officer of the Year for 2017 is a young man with a passion for helping others, who also has exhibited a level of maturity way beyond his years. Cody Keen, a 25-year-old Richlands native, helped bring order to two very different crime scenes with his quick thinking a nd calculated actions in 2017. As a result, his peers at the Salem Police Department have selected him for this prestigious annual honor. “I am very grateful that they think I am worthy of this award, but I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” says Keen. “I know for a fact, that every single one of the people I work with would have done the same things that I did.” His selection is even more impressive when you consider that Keen has been employed at the Salem Police Department for less than two years. Last July, he and his wife were traveling near Valley View Mall when they encountered a car full of smoke sitting in the roadway. Keen was off-duty at the time, and after approaching the vehicle, he realized the doors and the windows would not open and that a female driver was trapped inside. “For whatever reason a car jack was laying on the side of the road and I was able to use that to break the glass, and convince her to climb out of the window to safety,” he says. Roanoke City Police Officers arrived on the scene as she was exiting the car and after further investigation, they determined that the female was involved in a DUI accident earlier in the evening and they arrested her. Later in the fall, on Halloween night, Keen was on-duty when he responded to an alarm call at the CVS Drug Store, located at Lakeside Plaza on Electric Road. “I was working on a report in the parking lot when the call came in that night,” says Keen. “Normally, I check the main door first for an alarm call, but in this instance, something told me to pull around to the back first.” When he drove to the rear of the business, he saw a man exiting the store carrying bags of merchandise in both hands. As Keen approached the suspect at his car, the man denied any involvement, placed the bags in his trunk, but then tried to flee the scene on foot. “We were able to apprehend him and keep a good amount of prescription drugs off the street,” says Keen.