President Barack Obama on Saturday praised the nation’s police officers for everyday acts of courage, singling out among others an off-duty New York City police officer who chased an armed man under fire.
In a White House ceremony honoring some of the bravest, Obama said that cops often rush into danger to do “some really tough stuff.”
America need look no further than the Boston Marathon bombings to know what police are made of, he said.
“Police officers … [ran] towards explosions, not knowing if there was something more on the way,” the president said. “Law enforcement from different agencies in different parts of the country [work] together as one united team to identify suspects and bring them to justice.”
Obama was flanked by award recipients, many in uniform, with families, friends and other officers looking on from the audience in the East Room.
“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.”
The annual ceremony honored 43 law enforcement officers who are recipients of the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS award.
He singled out Detective Ivan Marcano, who was off duty in the Bronx when he saw muggers attack a cab driver. Obama recounted the story of Marcano being shot inches from his heart yet still giving chase to the suspects — holding his wound with one hand and his weapon with the other.
Other honorees included officers from California, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Wisconsin, as well as three FBI agents from Nevada.
“They’ll tell you they’re not heroes. They’ll say they were just doing their jobs,” Obama said. “Today we honor them as TOP COPS because they’re half right.”