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Chicago Officer Among Those Honored by Obama

Ofc. Del Pearson was shot in the chest a year ago



    A Chicago police officer shot a little more than a year ago while investigating a possible curfew violation was among a number of officers honored Saturday by President Barack Obama.

    Del Pearson is among 43 recipients of  the 2013 National Association of Police Organizations' TOP COPS award.

    "We don't always get that opportunity to stand and applaud the men and women who keep us safe," Obama said. "But they're out there -- hundreds of thousands of you patrolling our streets every single day. And we know that when we need you most, you'll be ready to dash into danger, to protect our lives, even if it means putting your lives on the line."

    Pearson was shot in the chest on March 19, 2012 while chasing a man in the 8400 block of South Kingston Avenue. Medical staff said the eight-year police veteran lost two-thirds of his blood and needed emergency surgery.

    He left Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn just eight days after the incident.

    A 21-year-old man, Paris Sadler, was charged with attempted first-degree murder. Another man, Paris Fortune, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon.

    Law enforcement personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Iowa State Patrol, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Indiana State Police, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the City of Henderson (Nevada) Police Department, the FBI, the Wayne (New Jersey) Police Department, the New York City Police Department, the Houston Police Department, and the Oak Creek (Wisconsin) Police Department are also among the award winners.

    The Oak Creek recipients were involved in last August's shooting at a Sikh Temple that left seven people, including the gunman, dead.

    "They'll tell you they're not heroes. They'll say they were just doing their jobs," Obama said. "Today we honor them as TOP COPS because they're half right."

    The National Association of Police Organizations' TOP COPS award has been handed out annually since 1994 to officers who've performed beyond the call of duty, according to the group's website.