Honoring the Nations “Top Cops” Obama Praises Times Square Response

By Jonathan Blakely

May 14, 2010 11:14am

From Sunlen Miller Honoring this year’s “Top Cops” award winners, President Obama said that the recent example of the attempted Times Square bombing, demonstrates the “bravery, persistence and good judgment,” that police officers across the country show every day. “Alerted by two street vendors that smoke was coming out of a suspicious vehicle, NYPD Officer Wayne Rhatigan immediately realized the potential danger and, along with other officers on the scene, helped clear the area quickly and safely,” the president said this morning from the Rose Garden, “The NYPD’s elite bomb squad unit then spent over five hours defusing the device.  An just two days after the attempted terrorist attack, thanks to the  outstanding work of local, state and federal officials, a suspect was in custody.” The president said that they succeeded because they were well trained, vigilant and ready – like the officers from across the nation, receiving the awards today. “Whether it’s by chance or by the hand of fate, these officers were tested.  And when the moment came, they did what they were trained to do,” the president said, “in the moments when these officers were under fire or choking on smoke, they weren’t thinking about themselves. They weren’t thinking about the medals or commendations.  I’m pretty sure they weren’t thinking about being honored at the White House.” Rather, the president said they were focused on their partners, on the people they were trying to save, and those that needed their help. “And that’s why we honor them, because while these officers may think of themselves as ordinary, as just another sheriff or trooper or patrolman doing their job, their actions were extraordinary, and for that we owe them our undying gratitude.” Honoring the officers, the president said, means doing more than just saying thank you, and he promised that they will continue to have the resources and support that they need. Among the officers being given awards were Sergeant Kimberly Munley and Sergeant Mark Todd, the officers who played a role in the Fort Hood response. After his remarks, President Obama put his hand on the shoulder of Munley, who is still using a cane, while posting for a picture. Yesterday President Obama visited the NYPD Headquarters in New York to say thank you for the officers’ response to the attempted bombing in Times Square earlier this month. -Sunlen Miller

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