Mayor Stoney, police chief honor officers for heroism

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT|Updated: May. 26, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Police Chief Gerald Smith honored over 50 police officers Thursday morning for their bravery and commitment to service.

“The job of being a police officer is as challenging as it’s ever been,” Stoney said.

“We can’t have a thriving community without public safety, and we can’t have public safety without heroes. Today, we lift you up, and today we celebrate you,” he said.

Stoney and Smith handed out awards to officers and department members for their outstanding service.

Medal of Valor and De-escalation Bar were just some of the awards given to RPD’s very own. Each award was accompanied by an unforgettable encounter.

Officers Naitraj David and Taylor Lisco received the De-Escalation Bar award. Lisco recalled the day when she was called to a bridge where a man was sitting on the edge.

“We were able to individually build a rapport with him and get him to make the choice as an autonomous adult that he wanted to kind of make the choice to get mental health assistance,” Lisco said.

Officer Imari Sledge was another officer awarded the Medal of Valor. He was off duty when he heard 13 gunshots on Chamberlayne Avenue and didn’t hesitate to respond. He saw two men, one with a gun.

“I saw the suspect, who just, he just shot, running towards me. He had a silver firearm in his hand when he ran towards me. I had issued him commands to stop and drop the weapon,” Sledge said. He managed to arrest the gunman and call for backup.

Thursday’s ceremony ended with a standing ovation recognizing officers Rashad Martin and Jason Scott, who were shot during protests in 2020.

The two took home Medals of Honor that Chief Smith said came with a remarkable sacrifice.

“The acts of bravery and courage [for] saving the lives of others or just going an extra mile performing our duties the recognition, today is much and extremely deserving of everyone,” Smith said.

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