Two dozen Las Vegas police officers receive medals of honor for bravery in the line of duty
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The annual Best of the Badge gala honors police officers that went above and beyond in the line of duty in Las Vegas. This year’s ceremony was held with a heavy heart with the loss of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer Truong Thai one week ago.
“It really hit home for us,” Sgt. Zachary McCartin, who received a Metal of Valor, said. “Officer Thai was a great man. He’s a true hero. He didn’t go down without a fight, and he’s the reason people sign up for this job. He protected his community, and he’s someone I want to base myself off of.”
McCartin pulled two children from an apartment intentionally set on fire with aerosols by their mother, according to police.
“And a few minutes later it ended up blowing up the apartment,” McCartin recalled from last year.
A total of 25 officers were honored for their heroic actions.
“I put this uniform on with pride. I feel like whenever someone calls 911 I’m trained to do what’s appropriate,” LVMPD officer Kevin Canales said.
Canales was one of several to receive the prestigious Medal of Valor, which represents the highest level of bravery in the line of duty.
A suspect was shooting at people in an apartment complex. Body camera footage shows that at least one shot was directed toward the officers. One of Canales’ partners returned fire killing the suspect, and the officers saved the other people in the complex.
The Best of the Badge honors officers no longer with us too. At Friday’s ceremony, that included LVMPD detective Justin Terry who was hit and killed by a fallen beam on the highway this June.
Nevada State Police trooper Micah May’s family attended the gala. May was killed by a carjacking suspect last summer.
Mourning bands could be seen all over the ballroom to remember LVMPD fallen officer Thai.
“He ended up giving the ultimate sacrifice, and I feel like he’s the real hero tonight,” Canales said.
“We’re very proud as the LVMPD foundation to host this and demonstrate to the public that the work of these officers that often goes unnoticed is recognized,” LVMPD Foundation executive Director Tom Kovach said.
Kovach said officer Thai will be honored during next year’s Best of the Badge ceremony.
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