LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — The Lowell police chief was awarded the department’s Medal of Valor Monday.

Police Chief Steven Bukala received the Lowell Police Department’s Medal of Valor, the second highest award given by the department, for his actions when responding to a possible drowning this summer.

On July 11, Bukala and an officer were called to Lowell’s Stoney Lakeside Park for a possible drowning. The adult swimmer went under the water when trying to swim a short distance to a small island.  

The police chief, who was outfitted in full duty gear and uniform, gave his equipment to the officer and got into the water. Bukala, a former certified diver, got together other swimmers and kayakers to help in the search.

“Chief Bukala, not being equipped or dressed for such an incident, not having the luxury of time, used his training and experience, located the missing swimmer,” the award read.

“The actions on this day by Chief Bukala go above and beyond the call of duty. Taking the initiative, putting his personal safety at risk, Chief Bukala entered into an uncertain situation, took immediate action without hesitation, and located the missing swimmer in 12 feet of murky water.”