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News Release

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Media Relations

Chief Charlie Beck Honors 27 Officers with the Distinguished Medal of Valor, Purple Heart & Preservation of Life Awards NA17175sr

WHAT: Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck will present the Department's highest honors to 27 recipients at the "Above & Beyond" Medal of Valor, Purple Heart and Preservation of Life Awards Ceremony. KNX1070 Field Reporter Pete Demetriou will emcee the event and vividly narrate this year's stories of heroism.

WHEN: Thursday, September 28, 2017
11:30 a.m. Program
12:15 p.m. Luncheon
12:45 p.m. Awards Ceremony

WHERE: Westin Bonaventure Hotel - California Ballroom
404 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90071

WHO: Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck
Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin
Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch Englander, Council District 12
Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Council District 2
Los Angeles Councilmember Nury Martinez, Council District 6
Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, Council District 13
Los Angeles Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr., Council District 9
Los Angeles Councilmember David Ryu, Council District 4
Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners President Steve Soboroff
Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners Sandra Figueroa-Villa
Los Angeles Inspector General Django Sibley
Master of Ceremonies Pete Demetriou, Field Reporter at KNX1070 NEWS RADIO/CBS RADIO

WHY: To recognize real-life events that exemplify exceptional stories of bravery and heroism.

During the awards presentation, audience members will hear about officers facing harrowing, deadly circumstances in the line of duty as they protect and serve. These larger-than-life encounters include:

•On the morning of August 20, 2013, Southwest Officers Bryan Waggener, Oscar Cordoba, Edwin Rocha, and Henry Merin responded to a radio call of an estranged husband and father shooting at the family. Video and audio evidence from the scene revealed only 49 seconds had elapsed from the time officers arrived to the conclusion of the officer involved shooting.

•On March 28, 2016, Southwest Officers Garrett Brooks and John Carlyle began their patrol shift when they suddenly heard an explosion and saw plumes of smoke from a vehicle that collided with a MTA bus at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Western Avenue. Both officers pulled the occupants out from the vehicle before the explosion from the bus's natural gas tank.

•On the night of June 15, 2016, a loud fiery crash alerted Sergeant Garcia to Olympic Blvd and Lawrence Street. He arrived to find a motorcycle had collided with a vehicle. A ruptured gas tank from the motorcycle fueled 20 feet of flames as Sergeant Garcia rushed in and pulled the motorcyclist to safety.

•On the evening of March 19, 2013, Sergeant Joseph Morrison responded with his battering ram to a call of a man barricading himself and the homeowner, threatening to set the apartment on fire. Sergeant Morrison breached the door with the battering ram and entered to find heavy furniture and items blocking the doorway. Heat, heavy black smoke, and flames prevented Sergeant Morrison from entering. Determined to enter the residence, Sergeant Morrison took a tactical disadvantage and crawled into the residence under the heavy black smoke to find the suspect still attempting to burn down the building. Sergeant Morrison wrestled with the suspect with great resistance but finally picked him up and took him outside of the apartment to safety. In his efforts, Sergeant Morrison suffered extreme smoke inhalation and loss of consciousness.

•Officers Rudy Ledesma and Ramon Lomeli responded to a radio call of an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Domestic Violence on September 8, 2015. Upon arrival, Officers Lomeli and Ledesma heard yelling from the front of the house followed by gunshots fired by the suspect into the residence. Officers could hear loud screaming coming from inside the location at which time the suspect turned towards the officers and began firing his weapon. Officers returned fire, and the suspect fell to the ground, was taken into custody and pronounced at the scene. The female victim inside the residence suffered a gunshot wound but survived after officers extracted her to safety from the residence.

ADDITIONAL: The mission of the Los Angeles Police Foundation (LAPF) is to create partnerships to provide resources and programs that help the LAPD perform at their highest level and to enhance LAPD-community relations. Since its founding in 1998, the LAPF has invested nearly $28 million in grants to the LAPD in the areas of equipment and technology upgrades, specialized training, community outreach, and youth programs.

INTERVIEWS: Medal of Valor, Purple Heart and Preservation of Life honorees will be available for print and television broadcast interviews on Thursday, September 28, 2017. To make advance arrangements for interviews, please contact Police Officer Sal Ramirez, LAPD Media Relations Section, at (213) 486-5910. Officer Ramirez is also a Spanish speaker and will be available to facilitate interviews on the day of the event.

CONTACT:For more information, please contact Police Officer Nguyet Amancio, LAPD Community Relationship Division, at (213) 486-6000 or (213) 841-2075. For information about the Los Angeles Police Foundation, please call Cecilia Glassman at (213) 489-4636 or visit: