Friday, September 29, 2023

Medals of Valor awarded to JPD officers; Heart Awards presented posthumously to fallen officers

(From the Missouri Department of Public Safety)

Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe presented Medal of Valor and Red, White and Blue Heart Awards to 18 first responders and Public Safety Civilian Partnership Awards to four civilians who helped first responders in emergency situations. 

MO Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten and Deputy Director Kevin Bond emceed the event while Kehoe gave the awards to recipients and their families.

Joplin Police Department Captain William E. Davis and officer Rick D. Hirshey were awarded the Medal of Valor for stopping a gunman on March 8, 2022.

Joplin Police Corporal Ben Cooper and Officer Jake Reed had responded to a disturbance call at a business and found a gunman, who pulled a gun and fatally shot both officers before stealing Cooper's vehicle and fleeing.

Cooper and Reed were given Red, White and Blue Heart Awards posthumously for their sacrifice.

Hirshey pursued the shooter, who fired at the officers chasing him. When he crashed the patrol car and tried to steal a minivan, Hirshey blocked his escape with his vehicle. The shooter shot Hirshey in the face before Davis arrived and fatally shot the gunman.

Hirshey also received a Red, White and Blue Heart Award for his injury during the incident.

(Cpl. Cooper's Wife Roxy and Officer Reed's Wife Bayley accepted the awards)

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