Local officers, journalist honored by Police Chiefs' Association

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three local citizens have been selected for recognition by the Missouri Police Chiefs' Association.

MPCA Medal of Honor

Two Nevada Police Officers will be awarded the MPCA Medal of Honor: Sgt Richard Burdick and officer David Henley.

This award is presented to a law enforcement officer who performed an act of heroism in the face of personal injury and risk of his life or another, while showing not only courage but also professional judgment sometime between Dec. 1, 2010 and Oct. 1, 2011; and the association will present the award on Dec. 8, at their 2011 MPCA Annual Awards Banquet in Jefferson City.

During the early morning hours of July 23, Burdick and Henley arrived on the scene of an apartment fire in the 1100 block of North Elm Street and found the hallways of the multistory apartment building filled with smoke. Immediately, they began evacuating the building. Alert neighbors reported to the police that there was a child still trapped in a back bedroom of the apartment that was on fire.

Unable to enter the apartment through normal avenues, the two police officers broke out a bedroom window and located the terrified child hiding in a corner of the bedroom. Unable to coax the 8-year-old girl to them, one officer climbed into the smoke filled room, pulled the child out of danger and handed her to his partner.

The rescued child and both officers were treated at the scene and released.

MPCA Media Person of the Year Award

The third person to be recognized at this year's banquet is local newspaper journalist Rusty Murry.

The MPCA Mary Phelan Media Award is awarded to a media professional defined as a man or woman who is employed in the state of Missouri from such medium as radio, television, newspapers, and other publications, who stands out in their conduct and service to the public in reporting information that is both accurate and fair. The Media Person of the Year should demonstrate writing such as the reporting of incidents, initiatives, and issues that are related to law enforcement or public safety.

This media candidate is by the nature of the word "professional", dedicated to public service on and off the job, a press release said. Such candidate holds a commitment to integrity and fairness and whose professional conduct directly or indirectly impacts upon law enforcement and/or public safety, in the state of Missouri.

"Rusty Murry, a reporter for the Nevada Daily Mail Newspaper, consistently reports the facts of every significant event in a professional manner. His commitment to integrity and fairness is exemplary," the MPCA announcement said.

"During the Spring of 2011, Murry participated as a student in the first Nevada Citizen's Police Academy and wrote a weekly news article on each class for the entire program. This series of articles raised public awareness of the Nevada Police Department from a positive perspective that impacted the entire community. Since that time Murry has done a ride along with officers and participated in a DWI Checkpoint with the police. In every case, Murry accurately reports the facts without bias while giving Law Enforcement a fair shake in his stories," it continued.

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