- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Twelve police officers were honored Tuesday with bravery awards named for a slain Massachusetts state trooper.

Gov. Charlie Baker and other officials presented the George L. Hanna Awards during an annual Statehouse ceremony. Baker said the recipients from six departments “were among the greatest heroes among us.”

Hanna was shot and killed in the line of duty during a 1983 traffic stop in Auburn.

The Medal of Honor, the highest award, was presented to Lowell police officer Patrick Casey, who was fired on by the driver of a car during what began as a routine traffic stop in August 2014.

Casey, who had taken cover behind the door of his cruiser, returned fire and wounded the man.

The officer, who was not injured, then radioed other Lowell police officers who were able to capture the fleeing suspect, who authorities considered a significant threat to the public.

Several other officers received Medals of Valor, including:

- Boston Police Officer Paul Dok, who went out on a ledge to grab a woman threatening to jump from a downtown parking garage. Two other officers, Christopher McCarthy and Michael Szegda, received Meritorious Recognition awards for helping Dok during the same incident.

- Boston Police Officer Pamela Wilson, who single-handedly disarmed and arrested two men inside an MBTA Red Line station.

- Worcester Police Officer Justin Bennes, a Gang Unit member, for disarming and eventually arresting a man following a violent struggle that began after a daylight traffic stop on a busy city street.

- Webster Police Officer Joshua Collins, for taking control of a situation after an armed man with a history of violence toward police barricaded himself inside a home. When the suspect came out and pointed a gun toward Collins, the officer fired and hit the suspect twice. Other officers then arrested the man, who survived his wounds.

- State Trooper Shaun Bellao, who after hearing gunfire in Brockton and seeing two shooting victims was able to chase down, subdue and eventually arrest one of two suspects in the shooting.

- Chelsea Police Officer Paul McCarthy, who was pursuing a man wanted for attempted murder when the suspect apparently tried to end his life by jumping from the Tobin Bridge. When the man landed on safety netting some 50 feet below, McCarthy was able to climb out and eventually reach the suspect, who was badly hurt but survived.


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