Hundreds of officers filled the ballroom at UMass Boston's Campus Center Tuesday morning to honor dozens of their own for exceptional valor with a Trooper George L. Hanna Jr. Memorial Award.
“Today is about giving our full gratitude to those who put themselves in harm’s way on behalf of their fellow citizens," Chancellor J. Keith Motley told the crowd, which included Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick, who called the officers "an example of service and sacrifice that is inspiring to me."
Several Boston officers were honored for acts of bravery in 2011. Receiving Meritorious Recognition for their service during a shoot-out in Brighton on Aug. 10, 2011. In that case, officers responded to a report that a man had been shot. Upon entering the building they found the man, who had a gunshot wound to the chest, and smelled gunpowder. One officer began life-saving efforts while others searched the building and as they went to an upstairs floor were fired upon from behind a closed door.
A Boston S.W.A.T. teams officers secured the building so that the remaining residents could escape and then had a hostage negotiator talk the suspect into surrendering. In addition to the S.W.A.T. team members, the officers in that case included Lt. Gerard Bailey, Sgt. Michael O'Hara, Det. Todd Hartgrove, Det. Christopher Moreno, Kevin Cooper, Amyleigh P. DeVito, Joseph Hynes, Thomas Killion, Yong Lee and Darryl Tran.
Other awards included:
- Meritorious Recognition to Boston police officer Det. Michael A. Kane for stopping an armed robbery in Dedham while off duty on June 27, 2011.
- Meritorious Recognition to Boston police officers Timothy Denio, Charbel Kamel and Shawn Marando for their response to a domestic violence call on June 14, 2011, in which the suspect took out a gun and fired at them, hitting Marando in the leg. Officers fired back, stopped the suspect and confiscated drugs and guns from the apartment.
- Medal of Valor to Boston officers Daniel Griffin, Bruce Higgins, Matthew Becker and Daniel Casali. Griffin and Higgins were fired upon after attempting to pull over a vehicle in Dorchester on Jan. 8, 2011. The driver fled and then crashed into a guardrail, at which point a person in the car began firing on officers. Police returned fire and captured the suspects.
- Medal of Honor to Boston officers Dennis J. Murphy and Francesco Recupero.