WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama honored the nation’s top police officers on Saturday, including one from Chattanooga, paying tribute to their sacrifices and “quiet courage” in the line of duty.
Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, praised the winners of a national police association award at a White House ceremony that honored 34 officers who showed valor in an assortment of tense standoffs, shootings and rescues.
“They are representative of the sacrifices and that quiet courage that exists among law enforcement officers all across the country and their families,” Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony.
Among them was Chattanooga Officer Lorin Johnston, who survived the shootout following a botched robbery last April at the U.S. Money Shops pawnshop on Brainerd Road. Johnston’s fellow officer, Sgt. Tim Chapin, was shot to death. Johnston was struck by a bullet that lodged in his protective vest, according to Times Free Press archives.
Other recipients included 15 members of the Detroit Police Department who confronted a gunman who opened fire in a local precinct station; five Las Vegas officers who stopped an assailant who shot an officer at a Walmart; and five New York City police detectives who rescued two cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who had become disoriented while rock climbing.
Other award winners hailed from Los Angeles; Miami; Chicago; Woburn, Mass.; Paramus, N.J.; and Copley, Ohio.
The officers were invited to the White House as part of the National Association of Police Organizations’ annual TOP COPS awards.