Monday, September 28, 2009

Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the highest honor a Kansas City Police officer can earn. It is "For performing an exceptionally valorous act far above that which is normally expected while aware of the imminent threat of personal danger." We gave this honor to Officer Marcus Smith last week. Above is Deputy Chief Cy Ritter bestowing the medal on him. Here is his story:

A woman and her children are safe today thanks to the valorous actions of Officer Marcus Smith on the evening of May 19, 2008.

At 8:49 p.m. that night, Officer Smith and his partner were dispatched to a house in the 10300 block of E. 43rd street on a call of a party armed with a gun who had threatened his live-in girlfriend. When they arrived, Officer Smith went to the front of the house, and his partner went to the back. Officer Smith saw a hysterical woman and her young son standing in the front yard. The woman told Officer Smith that she and her boyfriend had gotten into a fight when he became violent and assaulted her. He pointed a handgun at her, and she ran outside of the house with her youngest son and called 911. She told Officer Smith her boyfriend was mentally and physically ill as well as intoxicated.

Officer Smith had the woman and her child stand far behind him, out of harm’s way. He then ordered the suspect to come out of the house. The man eventually came onto the porch but then began to raise his right hand, which had a gun, and point it at Officer Smith. Fearing for the safety of the woman, child and himself, Officer Smith fired his duty weapon, killing the suspect.

When officers later cleared the residence, they found another child inside – a boy in a wheelchair in the back bedroom. When the woman was interviewed after the incident, she told detectives she “was in fear for her and her sons’ lives, and she believed the police officer’s actions kept her from being shot” by her boyfriend.

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