May 12th, 2011
05:23 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - Surrounded by police officers, some still recovering from gun shot wounds suffered in the line of duty, President Obama honored the recipients of this year’s Top Cop award Thursday in the White House Rose Garden.
“It’s like the Heisman Trophy presentation for law enforcement,” Obama said as he spoke of the hard work and humility of the recipients on stage behind him at the White House. “They didn’t know it that morning, as they pinned on a badge, or strapped on a vest, or holstered a weapon. But that day, something would happen that would make them worthy of this honor -– whether it was a random act of bravery, or a successful outcome that was the results of months or even years of painstaking and dangerous police work.”
Among the heroic actions that led to this year’s awards were everything from rescuing women and children from armed gang members, saving the life of a shooting victim without the assistance of paramedics, saving paralyzed senior citizens from a burning building, and investigating the attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square last year.
The Top Cop Award is presented each year to a select group of law enforcement officers from across the country for their actions above and beyond the call of duty. Recipients are chosen by the National Association of Police Organizations.