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13 officers to be pinned with highest honors by president

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President Barack Obama leaves the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Barack Obama leaves the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


The President of the United States is set to pin thirteen officers today with the nation’s highest police award.

According to  USA Today, the officers hail from departments across the country- their acts of heroism as diverse as their places of origin, though all worthy of the coveted Medal of Valor. One of the medals will be awarded posthumously.

The Law Enforcement equivalent to the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Public Safety Officers Medal of Valor was established in 2000 by President Clinton and officially recognized by Congress in 2001. The award is issued for “actions above and beyond the call of duty; and exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind; or an unusual swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life.”

The thirteen recipients are as follows:

SGT Robert Wilson III, Philadelphia, PA., Posthumously awarded for drawing fire during an armed robbery, suffering a fatal gunshot wound in the process.

CAPT Raymond Bottenfield, Officers Jason Salas and Robert Sparks, Santa Monica, CA., for their actions in the Santa Monica shooting.

Patrolman Louis Cioci, Johnson City, NY., for chasing down a gunman who murdered a police officer in a crowded hospital.

MAJ David Huff, Midwest City, OK., resolved a hostage situation involving a young girl held at knifepoint.

Officer Donald Thompson, Los Angeles, CA., for enduring severe burns rescuing a man from a burning car.

Officer Coral Walker, Omaha, NE., took down a man single-handedly, ending the shooter’s killing spree.

Officer Gregory Stevens, Garland, TX.,for subduing two armed assailants during a shootout.

Officer Niel Johnson, North Miami, FL., for taking down a suspect who shot a police officer and several others.

Special Agent Tyler Call, FBI, for helping to rescue a woman from her ex-husband, who was holding her at gunpoint.

Deputy Joey Tortorella, Niagara County, NY., for confronting and stopping a suspect who shot his parents.

Officer Mario Gutierrez, Miami-Dade, FL., for subduing a knife-wielding assailant who attempted to set off a massive gas explosion.

The ceremony is set to take place in the East Wing of the White House later today.

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