First responders earn recognition

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fourteen public safety officers were awarded the Medal of Valor by President Donald Trump on Wednesday, including eight who responded to a shooting at a southern California polling place.

“Every officer, firefighter and first responder who receives this award embodies the highest ideals of service and sacrifice, character and courage,” Trump said during a White House ceremony.

The medal is the nation’s highest honor for bravery by a public safety officer.

Eight men from the Azusa, California, police department were honored for placing themselves in danger and saving the lives of civilians and fellow officers during the shooting on Election Day 2016. The recipients were: Retired Lt. Xavier Torres; Sgt. Seth Chapman; retired Sgt. Terry Smith Jr.; Sgt. Thomas Avila III; Sgt. Rocky Wenrick; Cpl. Andrew Rodriguez Sr.; senior officer Carlos Plascencia; and detective Manuel Campos.

When they arrived at the polling place, a person was shooting from a house across the street from a park. An elderly woman had been killed and a man lay wounded on a sidewalk. The shooter was eventually killed and the officers were credited for preventing other deaths and injuries.

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