HomeMeetingsSociety OriginsHonor RollSPPD HistoryOral HistoriesMembershipDonateContact Us

Medal of Valor Class A
Established 1972

Photo of Medal of ValorAwarded to a member who, conscious of danger, intelligently and in the line of police duty, distinguishes himself by the performance of an act of gallantry and valor at imminent personal hazard to life, above and beyond the call of duty.

July 18,1985

Officer Dennis R. Abel
Officer Richard S. Horman
Officer Richard J. Schmidt

On July 18, 1985, these officers responded to a call of a violent domestic where the suspect was threatening his girlfriend with a knife. The suspect fled on foot from the house as the officers arrived. The officers located the suspect and a struggle look place. During the ensuing confrontation the suspect gained control of an officer’s revolver and shot Officer Horman and Officer Abel. Officer Schmidt was able to gain control of the weapon and the suspect was shot and killed.

December 11, 1985

Officer Kenneth McIntosh
On December 17,1985, a suspect robbed a downtown jewelry store at gun point and fled through the skyway system. Officer McIntosh pursued the suspect to a nearby beauty salon. Inside, the suspect herded three employees into a back room with his gun. In defense of the hostages and his own life, Officer McIntosh fatally wounded the suspect.

June 25, 1987

Officer Eugene Polyak
On June 25, 1987, Officer Polyak responded to a report of an armed bar patron. The officer persuaded the man to accompany him outside to talk. Once there, the suspect drew a Colt 45 caliber and fired upon the officer. Polyak, shot in the chest and hand, returned fire and mortally wounded the assailant.

September 18, 1990

Officer Michael Hinzman
For his act of gallantry and valor in engaging an armed and dangerous suspect. Officer Hinzman fired two shots, fatally wounding the suspect, who had pointed a handgun at the officer.

December 16, 1990

Officer Gerald Vick
For distinguishing himself by courageously entering a smoke-filled house, where he located and brought to safety a one-year-old child.

May 16,1992

Officer Mark Pierce
Officer Shoua Cha

For their courageous actions, under fire, surrounding the pursuit and arrest of an armed suspect.

January 17,1993

Sergeant John Pyka
Officer Thomas Smith

For their bravery and courage, under gunfire, during the execution of a search warrant resulting in the arrest of an armed suspect.

August 8,1993

Officer Archie Smith
For his bravery and dedication while off duty, in rescuing a small child from drowning in a pond near his home and diligently searching for another child in the same pond.

October 12, 1993

Officer David Timm
For his courageous actions when faced with a life threatening situation involving three teenage robbers who confronted him at gun point.

August 26, 1994

Officer Ronald Ryan, Jr.
For his ultimate sacrifice, when answering a “slumper” call, he came under gunfire from the slumper and was fatally wounded by those shots.

August 26, 1994

Officer Timothy Jones
K-9 Laser

For his ultimate sacrifice, and that of K-9 Laser, who were searching in an off-duty status for the killer of Officer Ronald Ryan, Jr. They were ambushed by the same suspect and the wounds suffered were fatal.

September 3, 1994

Officer Heidemarie Riemenscheider
Officer Brian Reed

For their actions dealing with a suspect who turned and fired numerous times at them as the suspect fled a car stop situation.

January 10, 1995

Officer Michael Ardolf
For his courage, professionalism and dedication by disabling an armed suspect who was pointing a handgun directly at Officer Ardolf and other officers.

November 30, 1995

Officer James K. Gray
Officer Anthony Pangel

For their actions resulting from a fleeing suspect that had fired at officers. A return of gunfire and eventual arrest of the party who had charges of multiple burglaries, robberies and attempted homicide.

July 7, 1996

Officer Timothy K. Bradley
Officer Lucia T. Wroblewskl
Officer Vincent Martin

For the arrest of an armed aggravated assault suspect in a tense and dangerous situation. Suspect exchanged gunfire with officers and fled scene in a car. Suspect was arrested a short time later.

August 25, 1996

Sergeant Karsten J. Winger
Officer Steve J. Anderson
Officer Carl M. Schwartz
Officer John R. Wright

For risking their lives in the attempt to arrest an armed homicide suspect in an open area on the boulevard near Snelling and Portland. After a five-hour surrender negotiation, suspect drew his weapon as the CIRT team approached to apprehend him.

April 28, 1991

Officer Gerald VIck
For his assessment of the situation, evaluation of the threat and appropriate response when a suspect pulled a handgun and started to raise it toward him.

December 15, 1999

Officer James S. Griffin
Officer J. John Mercado
Officer Vernon P. Michel

On September10, 1949, these officers voluntarily entered a dark, tear gas filled two story house to search for a fleeing suspect in the murder of fellow Saint Paul Police Officer Allen G. Lee and for the robbery of a local liquor store earlier that day. During the process of searching the house, the three officers encountered the suspect and employed deadly force in order to protect their lives and the lives of other officers involved in the search, resulting in the suspect being fatally wounded. (Read related story)

October 26, 2000

Officer Brady A. Harrison
On July 23, 2000, Officer Harrison responded to a call. While chasing a suspicious person on foot, another individual ran towards him with gun pointed. Officer Harrison assessed the situation and responded by wounding the suspect, eliminating the threat. He exercised extreme control in ensuring that innocent bystanders were not injured.

August 30, 2001

Officer Lyle D. Rust
On July 16, 2001, Officer Rust was dispatched to arrest a mentally ill woman. While attempting to apprehend the suspect, she advanced to the officer with a homemade razor knife. Instead of using deadly force in a justified situation, Officer Rust used his Freeze +P. She slashed her arms and continued to threaten him. Officer Rust was able to subdue and arrest the suspect in spite of the large amount of blood and both himself and her.

January 9, 2003

Officer Peter D. Crum
Officer John Linssen
Officer Mark G. Nelson
Officer Jay D. Thompson
Officer Matthew D. Toronto

On September 2, 2002, these officers were sent to a domestic call. A young man was found in possession of a Samurai sword. The officers persuaded the suspect to leave the apartment. He left the sword behind. While the suspect was being handcuffed, he began to struggle with the officers. The suspect got back in his apartment. He then stabbed Officer Jay Thompson several times. To save the life of Officer Thompson and intervening to halt assaults to others, deadly use of force was utilized. Officers began first aid on the injured officer and suspect.

April 24, 2003

Officer Michael A. Tharalson
On September 27, 2002, you responded to a call dealing with a schizophrenic male who had not been taking his medications and had been violent in the past. The family helped you gain entry to the house. After they had picked up some personal possessions, you escorted them out of the house. As you and the last family member were leaving, the suspect came from an upstairs bedroom carrying a BB gun and sickle sword. After physical contact was made, you were left with no choice but to use deadly force. You then began first aid on the injured suspect.

March 4, 2004

Officer Ryan J. McAlpine
On February 23, 2004,while off duty, you heard shots being fired. Putting yourself at great risk, you got into your personal vehicle to attempt to catch up to the fleeing suspect vehicle, and began to notify dispatch. The occupants eventually realized you were following them and fired three shots at you. Even after the vehicle stopped and the four suspects fled, you continued to chase one of the suspects on foot and assisted responding officers in the arrest of all four suspects.

September 30, 2004

Officer Charles L. Sims
On January 23, 2004, you aggressively patrolled your area looking for an aggravated robbery suspect, who during the robbery stabbed a woman. After locating him, you initiated a traffic stop. You attempted to contain the suspect who was armed with a large knife. You tried to keep the suspect in his car and away from nearby citizens, but he advanced toward you in a threatening manner, forcing you to use deadly force at a distance of 2 feet. Your actions were that of a brave and courageous individual in the deadliest of situations.

December 12, 2005

Officer Andrew C. Herouz
On October 10, 2005, you noticed a fire inside the Asian Grocery Store on East 7th Street. After requesting the fire department, you noticed the fire had grown and began to engulf the whole building, threatening the occupants of the apartments above the store. In spite of heavy smoke, you risked your own safety by entering the building more than once to alert the occupants. They were still sleeping and were unaware of the fire was ravaging the building. As the fire progressed, you were forced to crawl on your hands and knees in an effort to make sure each resident was brought to safety. In the end, you saved eighteen residents' lives that evening. You displayed great bravery and heroism by risking your own life to save the lives of others. This Medal of Valor is presented in recognition of your courageous and selfless actions.

November 29, 2007

Officer William C. Beaudette
On February 12, 2007, you responded to a call that the Minnesota Gang Strike Force Officers needed assistance in stopping a fleeing vehicle driven by a violent gang member. You joined in the pursuit with the intent to keep traffic back as the chase was during daylight hours and there were many citizens in the area. As a suspect's vehicle tried to pass a semi trailer, it crashed. You exited your squad and drew your weapon along with Officer Armando Abla-Reyes, who led the pursuit. You shouted for the suspect to show his hands and as he did, you saw the gun in his hand. Fearing for your lives and others at the scene, you both fired at the suspect. It was later determined that the suspect was killed by his own weapon. Your brave actions during this life-threatening encounter are commended.

November 29, 2007

Officer Armando F. Abla-Reyes
On February 12, 2007, you responded to a call that the Minnesota Gang Strike Force Officers needed assistance in stopping a fleeing vehicle driven by a violent gang member. You were the lead vehicle in the pursuit. The suspect blew out his back window and shot at you. Each time shots were fired, you were able to maintain focus and alert dispatch. As the suspect's vehicle tried to pass a semi-trailer, it crashed. You exited your squad and drew your weapon along with Officer William Beaudette, who assisted in the pursuit. You shouted for the suspect to show his hands and as he did, you saw the gun in his hand. Fearing for your lives and others at the scene, you both fired at the suspect. It was later determined that the suspect was killed by his own weapon. Your brave actions during this life-threatening encounter are commended.

March 27, 2008

Officer Cory J. Kochendorfer
On September 18, 2007, you and Oficer Jessica Phillips were sent to a call on York Ave. where three men were threatening the caller's boyfriend. When you arrived, only the caller, her boyfriend in a small child were present. While questioning the boyfriend, the caller mouthed to you that she needed help. She explained that her boyfriend had put a knife to her throat. The man became very upset and ran to the back yard where you both tackled him. He had a knife which you ordered him to drop several times. He did not comply and pleaded for you to kill him. He then tried to enter the home where the woman and child were now located. He found the door locked and approached you again with knife in hand. You both fired at the suspect who later died. Your courageous actions are recognized by this award.

March 27, 2008

Officer Jessica E. Phillips
On September 18, 2007, you and Oficer Cory Kochendorfer were sent to a call on York Ave. where three men were threatening the caller's boyfriend. When you arrived, only the caller, her boyfriend in a small child were present. While questioning the boyfriend, the caller mouthed to you that she needed help. She explained that her boyfriend had put a knife to her throat. The man became very upset and ran to the back yard where you both tackled him. He had a knife which you ordered him to drop several times. He did not comply and pleaded for you to kill him. He then tried to enter the home where the woman and child were now located. He found the door locked and approached you again with knife in hand. You both fired at the suspect who later died. Your courageous actions are recognized by this award.

March 27, 2008

Officer Robert L. Edwards and K-9 Rico
On October 10, 2007, you and K-9 Rico assisted in an undercover operation aimed at apprehending an upper level narcotics trafficker who is considered a dangerous fugitive. The plan failed when the suspects saw marked squads. A car chase ensued; the suspect crashed his vehicle, and then fled on foot with weapon in hand. As the suspect pointed his gun at you and Rico, you continued the pursuit and ordered him to drop his weapon. He failed to comply and continued running. You fired your weapon, and about the same time, Rico apprehended him by his arm and took him to the ground. With gun drawn, you approach the struggling suspect, who was being held firmly by Rico, and saw that he was no longer armed and had been shot by your gunfire. Your and Rico's valiant actions are recognized by this award.

September 25, 2008

Sergeant Ann M. Bibeau
On July 21, 2008, you were running near 12th Street and Wabasha, as part of your PT. A vehicle suddenly stopped in a juvenile male ran from the car as an adult male armed with a baseball bat chased him. The male hit the youth with the bat several times. He then pushed into the ground and began to punch him repeatedly in the face. Although you had no police identification or equipment to assist or protect you, you approached the adult, identified yourself as an officer, and ordered him to stop. He did it not comply. You grabbed the bat and struck the adult's arm in an attempt to stop him. You again advised that you were an officer in which he responded by threatening to physically harm you. After a momentary standoff, he fled the scene and was later found and arrested. This Award recognizes your selfless and heroic actions.

January 13, 2009

Officer James O. Mann
On July 9, 1971, four armed men robbed a bank on University Avenue. Two suspects were apprehended when they crashed the vehicle they had commandeered, while the other two fled on foot. They entered a home on Minnehaha Avenue and took a grandmother and her 18-month-old granddaughter hostage. One of the suspects surrendered shortly after, while the other remained in the home armed with two handguns. You arrived on the scene and spoke with the suspect from the porch. The suspect continually stated that if you came inside, he would shoot. You persisted in a calm manner and eventually were able to go inside the home, unarmed, to further talk with the suspect. A deal was reached and the child was released followed by the grandmother. The courage and professionalism you displayed are recognized by this award.

February 22, 2009

Officer Michael P. Carroll
On March 6, 2008, you and Officer Robert Howell responded to a home burglary in progress. As you interviewed the victims, you saw a male swinging a samurai sword, trying to break the window of Officer Howell's squad car. You both proceeded outside and ordered the suspect to stop damaging the vehicle. You then noticed that he had a knife in his other hand and ordered him to drop both weapons. He did not comply and moved towards Officer Howell. Fearing for his life and those around him, Officer Howell shot the suspect. He was wounded, but was able to stand and chose to move towards Officer Howell again. You both ordered him to stop and again he refused. You then shot the suspect to shield both of you from harm. He did recover from his wounds. This Award is presented in recognition of your courageous actions.

February 22, 2009

Officer Robert R. Howell
On March 6, 2008, you and Officer Michael Carroll responded to a home burglary in progress. As you interviewed the victims, Officer Carroll saw a male outside swinging a samurai sword, trying to break the window of your squad car. You both proceeded outside and ordered the suspect to stop damaging the vehicle. You then noticed that he had a knife in his other hand and ordered him to drop both weapons. He did not comply and moved towards you. Fearing for your life and those around you, you shot the suspect. He was wounded, but was able to stand and chose to move towards you again. You both ordered him to stop and again he refused. Officer Carroll then shot the suspect to shield both of you from harm. The suspect did recover from his wounds. This Award is presented in recognition of your courageous actions.

May 13, 2009

Sergeant Gerald D. Vick
On May 6, 2005, Sergeants Gerald Vick and Joseph Strong were working undercover at Erick's Bar on East Seventh Street. They had a verbal confrontation with two males outside the bar. Both Sergeants left in their separate vehicles after the encounter to return to headquarters to complete their shifts. One of the individuals approached Sergeant Strong's vehicle as it was stopped at a red light near the bar. Sergeant Strong called upon Sergeant Vick for assistance. Both got out of their vehicles and pursued the individuals down an alley across the street from the bar. As Sergeant Vick approached one of the males, he was shot and his wounds were fatal. Sergeant Gerald Vick gave the ultimate sacrifice that police officers can give in service to the citizens of St. Paul.

June 25, 2009

Officer Adam L. Bailey
On April 6, 2009, you and Officer Heather Kuchinka, along with several other officers, responded to a man with a gun call on the East Side of Saint Paul. When you arrived, Officer Patrick Murphy had the suspect lying prone in an alley at gunpoint. As attempts were made to secure the suspect, he repeatedly tried to stand and ignored orders to lie down on the ground. K-9 Boomer was released, but the dog bites appeared to have no effect on the suspect. The man then retrieved a weapon from behind a light pole and ignored repeated orders to drop the gun. He pointed in your direction and also at Officer Murphy and Boomer. Fearing for your own safety, and the other officers' safety, you and Officers Brian Casey and Douglas Wilson, shot the suspect. He did succumb to his wounds. This Award recognizes your courageous actions.

June 25, 2009

Officer Brian E. Casey
On April 6, 2009, you and Officer Douglas Wilson, along with several other officers, responded to a man with a gun call on the East Side of Saint Paul. When you arrived, Officer Patrick Murphy had the suspect lying prone in an alley at gunpoint. As attempts were made to secure the suspect, he repeatedly tried to stand and ignored orders to lie down on the ground. K-9 Boomer was released, but the dog bites appeared to have no effect on the suspect. The man then retrieved a weapon from behind a light pole and ignored repeated orders to drop the gun. He pointed at Officer Adam Bailey and at Officer Murphy and Boomer. Fearing for your own safety, and the other officers' safety, you and Officers Bailey and Wilson shot the suspect. He did succumb to his wounds. This Award recognizes your courageous actions.

June 25, 2009

Officer Heather M. Kuchinka
On April 6, 2009, you and Officer Adam Bailey, along with several other officers, responded to a man with a gun call on the East Side of Saint Paul. When you arrived, Officer Patrick Murphy had the suspect lying prone in an alley at gunpoint. As attempts were made to secure the suspect, he repeatedly tried to stand and ignored orders to lie down on the ground. K-9 Boomer was released, but the dog bites appeared to have no effect on the suspect. The man then retrieved a weapon from behind a light pole and ignored repeated orders to drop the gun. He pointed at Officer Bailey and at Officer Murphy and Boomer. Officers shot at the suspect; however, you displayed great discipline and did not engage your weapon when other officers came into your line of fire. He did succumb to his wounds. This Award recognizes your courageous actions.

June 25, 2009

Officer Patrick J. Murphy and K-9 Boomer
On April 6, 2009, you and K-9 Boomer, were the first to respond to a man with a gun call in an alley on the East Side of Saint Paul. At gunpoint, you ordered the suspect to show his hands and lie on the ground. He did comply and was face down in the alley when the other officers arrived to assist. Attempts were made to secure him; however, he repeatedly tried to stand. He released Boomer, but the dog bites appeared to have no effect on him. As you approached the suspect, he shot at your faithful partner with a gun he had retrieved from behind a light pole. He then pointed his weapon directly at you. Fearing for your safety and their own lives, the other officers at the scene shot the suspect before you could fire your own weapon. Boomer did recover from his injuries. Your and Boomer's valiant actions are recognized by this Award.

June 25, 2009

Officer Douglas R. Wilson
On April 6, 2009, you and Officer Brian Casey, along with several other officers, responded to a man with a gun call on the East Side of Saint Paul. When you arrived, Officer Patrick Murphy had the suspect lying prone in an alley at gunpoint. As attempts were made to secure the suspect, he repeatedly tried to stand and ignored orders to lie down on the ground. K-9 Boomer was released, but the dog bites appeared to have no effect on the suspect. The man then retrieved a weapon from behind a light pole and ignored repeated orders to drop the gun. He pointed at Officer Adam Bailey and at Officer Murphy and Boomer. Fearing for your own safety, and the other officers' safety, you and Officers Bailey and Casey shot the suspect. He did succumb to his wounds. This Award recognizes your courageous actions.