WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — President Barack Obama Saturday praised a dozen Los Angeles-area police officers, among others, for their everyday acts of courage, saying they often rush into danger to do “some really tough stuff.”
The annual ceremony at the White House honored 43 law enforcement officers from around the nation who are recipients of the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award.
“We don’t always get that opportunity to stand and applaud the men and women who keep us safe,” Obama said. “But they’re out there — hundreds of thousands of you patrolling our streets every single day. And we know that when we need you most, you’ll be ready to dash into danger, to protect our lives, even if it means putting your lives on the line.”
The officers from L.A. were honored for their work in capturing armed murder suspect Ian Schlesinger last September, KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports.
They included Sergeants Joel G. Miller and Joseph W. Sanchez along with officers Hans C. Almaraz, Joseph O. Arevalo, Mark Austin, David Blake, Joseph Broussard, Juan Garcia, Bradford Gorby, Ryan P. Nguyen, Clint Perez, and Sean Schneider.
Other honorees included eight officers from the Oak Creek, Wis., police force who battled a gunman at a Sikh temple last Aug. 5. The gunman killed six people before turning his weapon on himself. Obama singled out Brian Murphy, the first to arrive, who, he said, suffered 12 bullet wounds.
He also singled out New York police Detective Ivan Marcano, who was off duty in the Bronx with his girlfriend when he saw muggers attack a cab driver. Obama recounted Marcano being shot inches from his heart yet still giving chase to the suspects — holding his wound with one hand and his weapon with the other. Obama had Marcano’s girlfriend stand, saying, “This was his date night! It’s unbelievable.”
Officers from Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, as well as three FBI agents from Nevada, were also honored.
“They’ll tell you they’re not heroes. They’ll say they were just doing their jobs,” Obama said. “Today we honor them as TOP COPS because they’re half right.”
He said they signed up knowing “they might be called upon to do some really tough stuff. But I think that makes them more heroic, not less heroic.”
Obama added America owes police officers all the support it can give — including the resources and equipment to do their work. He said that includes enough money to prevent layoffs and what he termed “common sense” gun measures.
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