GARDEN GROVE (CBS) — The Garden Grove Police Department awarded Good Samaritans in their community for showing “exceptional” kindness at a ceremony Tuesday evening.

A year ago, each member of the police department was issued a “Chief’s Coin for Merit”. They were told to award it to those in the community who made selfless sacrifices.

merit coin Garden Grove Police Present Merit Coins To 99 Good Samaritans

“It’s encouraging and humbling that there are other people feel the same way and will do these things when the need presents itself,” Garden Grove Police Chief Kevin Raney said at the award ceremony.

Alex Ruiz was one of the 99 people given a Merit Coin Tuesday. He helded a store clerk during a violent situation.

“Basically he was elderly gentleman and needed some help,” Ruiz said. “I tackled the guy and pushed him out the door.”

“I feel like anybody would’ve done the same thing.”

Often used to having to deal with crime, Raney said this ceremony was a chance for officers to celebrate those who were setting a positive example in the community.

“All too often police are laser-locked on those doing bad, and there are so many people doing good things as well,” Raney said.


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