MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota State Trooper’s rescue of a mother from floodwaters earned him the honor of being named “National Law Enforcement Officer of the Month” by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Trooper Brian Beuning rescued Julisa Jones from her car near Luverne, Minn., moments before the floodwaters swept it away.

Darkness was falling along Interstate 90 and, as Jones told WCCO in June, she didn’t realize how deep the standing water was.

“I was going too fast, so I went into the water and my car spun,” Jones said.

Suddenly she was trapped and called 911. She said,

“The water in my car was rising very quickly and I could feel the current was so strong that it was, it kept slowly pushing my car toward the ditch,” she said. “I thought I was going to die.”

Enter Trooper Brian Buening.

“Wading out there,” he said, “the thing going through my mind was, ‘This is crazy, this water is moving fast, this is dangerous.'”

Moments after he got her out, the car was swept away.

Unable to move in the stiff current, the two held onto each other. Buening calmed her by talking about their children.

“She was starting to contemplate and saying, ‘I can’t do this,’ and I said, ‘Let’s do it for our kids,'” he said.

After half an hour, rescuers with ropes and wet-suits arrived to save them both.

On Monday, Buening’s wife and young son watched as he was named National Law Enforcement Officer of the Month.

He says he is not a hero.

“It’s part of the job,” he said. “Anyone would do it if they came into that situation.”

A very grateful Julisa disagrees. She said,

“It really touched me and meant so much to me,” she said. “If it wasn’t for him, I would not be here.”

In May Buening will be honored in a Washington, D.C., ceremony along with other national officers of the month.

This is the trooper’s second major award. In 2011 he received the State Patrol’s Lifesaver Award for rescuing a man who was sinking in a grain bin full of corn.

Esme Murphy

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