In all, 39 officers and others received awards Monday for heroic or otherwise notable efforts in Minneapolis. Several saved a life with quick thinking and action.
Minneapolis police officers and others, 39 in all, were recognized by the Police Department in City Hall on Monday for achievements and valor.
About 100 people crammed into a conference room as Minneapolis Police Chief Timothy Dolan read stories that received a mixture of "oohs" and "aahs" and loud applause.
Among those honored was officer Katie Blackwell, a veteran of the Iraq war, who received a Life Saving Award for rescuing a 13-month-old boy she found lying motionless and gasping for air. She was able to dislodge an object obstructing the child's airway and kept the airway open until an ambulance arrived. Doctors later credited her for saving the child's life.
Other acts for which the Life Saving Award was given included dissuading a man from jumping off a roof and rescuing a man who became unresponsive during a routine traffic stop.
Officer Timothy Devick was one of nine officers who received a Medal of Valor. Four days after Christmas, and while off-duty, Devick saw a man shoot at a van near the 400 block of W. Broadway in Minneapolis. The 17-year-old man turned the gun toward Devick and began walking toward him after Devick identified himself as an officer. Devick then fired at the man, eventually wounding and stopping him. Only then was Devick able to call for back-up.
Other acts for which the Medal of Valor was given included the rescue of a man from a car engulfed in flames and a SWAT operation in which seven officers wearing bullet-proof vests placed themselves in front of children caught in a crossfire.
Dolan gave a Chief's Award of Merit to officer Andrew Stender, the head trainer of the police department's canine unit, for maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average while pursuing undergraduate and master's degrees at Concordia University. The same award was also given to Lt. Eddie Frizell, who also kept a 4.0 GPA while attending a special officer training school.
Fourteen people received awards for participation in the "Kids, Cops and Firefighters, too!" program, a safety fair for families with kids who are hard of hearing or blind.
Rodrigo Zamith • 612-673-4895