Remembering the 12 people killed Sept. 16, 2013

Honoring TOP COPS, Obama Says U.S. Owes Police a Debt

Responders to Navy Yard shooting earn TOP COPS award

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    President Barack Obama greets National Association of Police Organizations Thomas Nee while honoring the 2014 TOP COPS award winners with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    The United States owes a debt to the police officers who put themselves in danger to protect the nation, President Barack Obama said Monday as he honored the nation's top police officers at the White House.

    In a ceremony in the East Room, Obama praised the recipients of 2014 National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS. Obama said when the moment came, the officers didn't hesitate to take action, but instead ran toward danger.

    “The 53 officers, detectives, patrolmen, special agents, and troopers that we celebrate today are America's finest, the best of the best,” Obama said.

    One TOP COP case is selected from each state and U.S. territories, with 10 cases earning TOP COPS awards. The remaining cases receive honorable mention awards.

    D.C. won for its response to the Washington Navy Yard shooting. Metropolitan Police Department officers Dorian DeSantis, Emmanuel Smith and Scott Williams were honored; as were officers Carl E. Hiott and Andrew W. Wong from U.S. Park Police, and NCIS special agents Brian E. Kelley, Edward J. Martin and Joshua D. Powell.

    Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class James Spurlock received an honorable mention for stopping an assault in progress while off-duty. Montgomery County police officer Steven Browne received one for putting his safety at risk to successfully disarm a woman trying to kill herself.

    Vice President Joe Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other top officials joined Obama for the ceremony. Biden said the families of the officers also make sacrifices for the nations' security, but they often go without recognition.

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