GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As some of their colleagues were out investigating yet another shooting in Gulfport, dozens of city police officers and their families paused Thursday morning to recognize outstanding service.
The police department held its semi-annual awards ceremony at the Handsboro Community Center. Awards were given to various officers and employees who went above and beyond the call of duty. Two retirees were also recognized for their longtime service.
Officer Joseph Fore was given the department's highest honor, the Medal of Valor. Fore was praised for his professional handling of an incident where a man had a knife and was threatening harm to the officer and others around him.
Police Chief Leonard Papania says he's proud to pause and recognize his outstanding officers. As for the latest shooting, he reiterated a message he's shared before.
"The police officers can't do it alone. We need the help of an involved community to solve this crime and halt the violence," said Papania.