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President Obama Honours Wisconsin Gurdwara Police Heroes

JAN UEBELHERR

 

 

 

The eight Oak Creek police officers who responded to the shooting at the Gurdwara in Wisconsin last August have received a national law enforcement award and were honored at the White House Saturday (May 11, 2013) morning by President Barack Obama.

The officers are among 43 recipients of the TOP COPS award presented by the National Association of Police Organizations.

Seven people, including the gunman, died in the August 6 attack.

Those honored are Lt. Brian J. Murphy, who was the first to respond to the scene and was hit by 15 bullets, three of which were stopped by his protective vest; and officers Savan "Sam" Lenda, John H. Finco, Julie M. Grauberger, Dean Kleinhans, Michael Schultz, Derick Slamka and Kelly Romel.

Lenda wounded the gunman with a rifle shot. The gunman, Wade Michael Page, then killed himself.

"When Officers John H. Finco, Kelly Romel, Julie M. Grauberger, Derick Slamka, Dean Kleinhans, and Michael Schultz arrived, they found Lt. Murphy waving them into the gurdwara to help other possible victims, despite having been shot 15 times," according to a White House statement on the awards. "The heroic actions of all of these officers saved an untold number of lives and exemplify what it means to be a TOP COP."

Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association and member of the NAPO board, attended the ceremony in the White House's state dining room.

The President spoke for about 15 minutes. Afterward, he met with the eight Oak Creek officers.

"I think they were all pleasantly overwhelmed by the experience," Palmer said. "It's a lot to take in."

An awards dinner will be held Sunday night.

Other officers winning the TOP COPS award were from California, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

Murphy was one of the officers singled out by Obama in his speech at the White House ceremony. He also talked of the police response to the Boston Marathon bomb blasts, including the applause from crowds after the second suspect was caught.

"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."

Here's what Obama said about Murphy, from remarks supplied by the White House press office:

"I already talked about one of this year's top cops, Brian Murphy, in my State of the Union address. When a gunman opened fire on a gurdwara in Wisconsin and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. He fought back until help arrived and ordered his fellow officers, who are here today, to protect the safety of the Americans worshipping inside - even though he was lying there bleeding from 12 bullet wounds. When he was asked how he did it, he said, 'That's just the way we're made.' "

 

Courtesy: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Edited for sikhchic.com.

May 12, 2013

 

Conversation about this article

1: Harinder (Uttar Pradesh, India), May 12, 2013, 10:20 AM.

God Bless Lt Brian and his family. Thank you, Mr President, Sir. Long live the President of USA.

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