MERIDIAN – They are extraordinary heroes. Ten law enforcement officers and two firefighters received the Idaho Medal of Honor Friday for going above and beyond the call of duty to help fellow citizens in danger.
They were honored during a ceremony at the Idaho Peace Officers Memorial in Meridian.
Law enforcement and firefighters say dying is a possibility they face every day on their jobs, that's why it's important to recognize these 12 recipients who demonstrated extraordinary acts of heroism in the line of duty.
Sgt. Dennis Clark with the Jerome Police Department is one of the officers who received the Idaho Medal of Honor. He risked his life to catch a suspect during a high-speed chase. At one point, the suspect shot at the officer, injuring his eye, still he continued his pursuit.
"A couple miles later I could tell I was losing a lot of blood, I began to feel light-headed and dizzy, and I was concerned that I was gonna pass out, or worse, at which point I decided to do what I could to end the pursuit, and then I rammed his car for a second time, which caused him to run off the road," said Sgt. Clark.
Sgt. Clark was afraid he might die from his injuries but says stopping was not an option. He thought the suspect could hurt other people and kept him going. He is humbled by the award.
"It such an honor to be a police officer to start with, then to be recognized out of all the men and women in law enforcement is...I can't even explain how much pride that brings," said Sgt. Clark.
The ceremony also honored 66 Idaho officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Each of their names was read aloud and a bell was rung for each name.