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State leaders honor police for bravery in line of duty

The Associated Press

BOSTON- The state's highest honor for bravery by a police officer was awarded Tuesday to three Amesbury police officers and seven Boston police officers for their responses to life-endangering domestic violence calls.

Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey presented the officers with the 21st annual George L. Hanna Medal of Honor, named after a state trooper killed during a routine traffic stop in Auburn in 1983.

A total of 29 law enforcement officers from Boston, Amesbury, Quincy, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Massachusetts State Police were given awards in the Statehouse ceremony.

Gov. Mitt Romney, who spoke briefly, thanked the officers for risking their safety for the public's well-being. "We honor you. We respect you. We stand and salute you," he said.

Medal of Honor winners:

-Amesbury Police Officers Jason Kooken, David Noyes and Michael Purvis, who confronted an armed man who drove to his estranged wife's home last Oct. 24 and tried to get her out. The man refused to surrender and fired nine rounds at the officers, who returned fire and killed him;

-Boston Police Officers James Morrissey, James Harris, Paul Bercume and Albert C. Christie who responded to a call April 23, 2003, that a man had broken into the apartment of his ex-girlfriend, who was there with her newborn baby, and was beating the woman. When officers arrived, the man fled out the back door, where Bercume was waiting. Together the four subdued the suspect, who had a violent history and who was wanted on several warrants.

-Boston Police Sgt. Charles Byrne and officers Robert Welby and Dennis Cogavin, who responded to a call from a woman being threatened by her son's friend. The suspect shot at the officers, striking Byrne and Welby. Though Welby was injured, he ran outside to get help while Officer Robert Cappucci tended to Byrne. Cogavin and Welby shot the suspect, who fell, dropped his weapon and was arrested.

Also honored were Medal of Valor winners:

- Boston Police Sgt. Charles Daly and Officers Robert Cappucci, Daran Edwards and Thomas Sullivan; Quincy Police Sgt. Richard Tapper and Officer Steven Kelly and State Police Sgt. Robert McCarthy and Trooper William Cameron

Merit Award winners:

- Boston Police Sgt. John Danilecki, and Officers Michael Doyle, Michael Mylett, James A. Griffin, Alvin Holder, Earl Jacob and Eric McPherson; MBTA Officers Richard Lum and Chi Keung.

Valor Award winners:

- Boston Police Officer Adam Gill and MBTA Officer James. St. Croix.
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