ELKHART — Officers who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who dealt with life-threatening situations were honored during ceremonies held by local police agencies to observe National Peace Officer Memorial Day.
The Elkhart Police Department held its ceremony at noon Thursday, May 15, in the Lerner Theatre. The police department held the ceremony indoors because of the weather.
Jason Brooks, a chaplain from the police department, spoke about what the community can learn from seeing officers display courage on a daily basis.
Nine police officers were given medals for their courage in facing deadly situations.
Sgt. Travis Snider and Patrolman Dan Mayer were given the Life Saving Medal. Capt. Kris Seymore, who presented the awards, said Snider helped a child who was shot in 2011 by applying pressure to the child’s wound before medics arrived.
Mayer did CPR on a man who was having a medical problem in 2013. In both instances, Seymore said, what the officers did was crucial in saving lives.
Sgt. Karl Miller, Cpl. Bruce Anglemyer and Cpl. James Ballard received the Medal of Valor. The three officers shot Jaime Benavidez in September 2013 as the suspect raised his gun.
Mayer, Cpl. Jason Ray, and Patrolman Jason Gruber also received the Medal of Valor. The three shot Christopher Ryckeart in November 2013 after a vehicle pursuit. The three fired shots in Ryckeart’s direction when he started driving his vehicle toward them.
Cpl. Cody Skipper and Cpl. Jason Tripp were given the Medal of Honor which, Seymore said, was the highest award to be given at the police department. The two officers were commended for their response at a Martin’s Super Markets store on Jan. 15, when Shawn Bair entered the supermarket and fatally shot two women.
Skipper and Tripp shot Bair as he raised his gun.
Skipper and Tripp also received recognition at the Lerner Theatre on May 4, when Mayor Dick Moore praised them for their quick response.