Governor Nixon Awards Officers with Medals of Valor
COLUMBIA - Governor Nixon awarded eight Missouri Medals of Valor Thursday at the state Capitol. The medals represent the highest accolade a public safety officer can receive during their line of duty.
A public safety officer may become eligible for the award after having responded to a high-danger situation with extraordinary acts of merit and valor. Firefighters, emergency medical technicians and police officers received the medals this year. They are:
-Joseph G. Health, St. John's Ambulance Service and Jeffrey S. Elliot, Springfield Fire Department-(Rescued two childrenfrom burning building)
-Thomas R. Bacon Jr., Pattonville Fire Protection District (Helped family to safety during EF-4 tornado)
-James C. Cooksey Jr., Missouri State Highway Patrol (Attempted to rescue woman being swept downstream in St. John's Bayou)
-Robert C. Siscel, Sunset Hills Police Department (Incapacitated a point-blank gunman)
-Curtis B. Bohanon II, Jefferson City Police Department and Christopher J. Suchanek, Cole County Sheriff's Department (Incapacitated gunman in Captiol Plaza Hotel)
Local officers Bohanon, Jefferson City Police and Suchanek, Cole County Sheriff's Department received their medal after responding to the same crisis, when a lone gunman began firing inside the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Both officers shot to disarm Marvin Rice, 44, and detained him after he killed two.
This year's award ceremony filled the Governor's office to capacity as family members and fellow officers joined the eight recipients.
This year marks the first time a posthumous Medal of Valor has been awarded to a public safety officer. The nephew of officer Daryl A. Hall, Metropolitan Police Department, received the award in his stead. Officer Hall responded while off duty after hearing gunfire outside of a bar near Busch Stadium in April 2011. Officer Hall was fatally shot after firing several gunshots, killing the gunman.