Boonville Police Officer Awarded Medal of Valor

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BOONVILLE - Family, friends and community members gathered inside Boonville City Hall Monday evening to honor a local police officer who acted courageously while apprehending a bank robbery suspect.

Moments before Patrolman Jamaal Baskett received the award, attendees prepared their handheld cameras and spoke in hushed tones as Baskett stood near the entrance gazing out a nearby window.

According to Baskett, he was nervous on May 8th when Edward Roberts, the man charged with robbing Landmark Bank and Boone County National Bank, led Baskett and other Boonville police officers on a high-speed chase. But in all his nervousness, Baskett and his colleagues came out of the ordeal alive and with Roberts in handcuffs.

"That day, I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind as I was going down that dirt road by myself," Baskett said while receiving the award. "We all went home safe that night to our families."

The City of Boonville and Boonvlle Police Department presented Baskett with the Medal of Valor for coming to the aid of a fellow officer while apprehending Roberts. Officers who were at the scene during Roberts' arrest nominated Baskett for the award.

Baskett said on that day, he did what he had to do to help a fellow officer.

"I just kind of sucked it up," Baskett said. "I heard shots, I knew a fellow officer was in need so I had to go. It's really weird when you hear something like that and you go down there and see somebody in trouble. You've got to engage him... It's either him or me."

Baskett, an 8-year veteran, was joined by his family during the ceremony.