Obama Honors 34 Police Officers for Acts of Bravery
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden honored 34 police officers at the White House for extraordinary acts of bravery. Among the group are two police officers from Los Angeles who stopped a shooting and one from Chicago who responded to an armed robbery.
This is the first public appearance of the president and the vice president together after Obama’s announcement of supporting same sex marriage. The awardees were winners of the National Association of Police Organizations’ TOP COP awards. They represented the sacrifices and courage that exists among law enforcement officers across the nation.
President Obama said that people can learn something from the example gave by the 34 brave police officers. Most of the people don’t have to run straight into gunfire or chase down an armed suspect on foot but everyone has responsibilities in their daily life.
One of those honored at the White house event was Sergeant Don Jerome of Chicago. He had to overcome two assailants who bound and gagged six people, including three children, in an armed robbery at a store.
Officer Kevin Cotter Sr. and Detective Craig Marquez from Los Angeles were honored for responding while off duty to a gunman who started shooting at passerby at the intersection of Vine and Hollywood. Because of their action, only one fatality was recorded. The gunman refused the calls made by the plainclothes-clad police officers to drop his gun and even fired at them. This forced the policemen to shoot him.
The number of police personnel killed in the line of duty in the United States increased 13 percent to 173 last year. This is according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Among the reasons of death, gunfire is the number one cause at 68 deaths. Due to budget strains at the state level, law enforcement agencies had to lay off people across the nation.