President Barack Obama honored the country’s top police, recognizing 43 officers from ten states for heroic actions in a White House ceremony this morning.
“We know that when we need you most, you’ll always be ready to dash into danger to protect our lives, even if it means putting your lives on the line,” said Obama, standing with the police officers and their families. “That’s what these men and women standing behind me have proven.”
Recipients of the 2013 National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award include eight officers who responded to the Aug. 6 shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that killed six people. One of the officers, Lieutenant Brian Murphy, was shot 15 times by the gunman in his effort to stop the shooting.
Obama described the actions of Ivan Marcano, a New York City police detective who was off-duty when he stopped an attack on a senior citizen and was shot in the process. While Marcano was being driven to the hospital by his girlfriend, he again encountered the suspects, apprehending one of them as he continued to put pressure on his own wound.
“He wasn’t on the clock when any of this happened,” Obama said. “This was his date night.”
Another officer from Wayne, New Jersey, rescued a fellow policeman trapped by live electrical wires and a fallen tree in the midst of Hurricane Sandy last October. In Iowa, a state trooper chased down two bank robbers armed with assault rifles even after being wounded.
The honorees were nominated by colleagues for actions considered above and beyond the call of duty, according to NAPO’s website.
Law-enforcement personnel from police departments in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade, Indiana, Las Vegas, Henderson, Nevada, Houston, and New York City are also among the award recipients.