3 Tuscaloosa police officers awarded Medal of Valor

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Three Tuscaloosa police officers received Medals of Valor Friday afternoon for their bravery after dealing with an armed suspect back on January 25.

Police Chief Brent Blankley said he is proud of his officers.

“For their actions, officers Berch, Michaels and Pruitt will all receive the Medal of Valor. This is presented to officers who knowingly, while in the line of duty, engage a suspect with an individual act of courage which places him or her at risk for danger or death,” said Blankley.

The incident happened last January at the Links and Greens apartments. Police tell CBS 42 that suspect Devonte Farmer fired shots at the officers after they ordered him to drop his weapon. Officer Berch was shot in his bullet proof vest and officer Michaels fell down and was injured. After a manhunt, Farmer turned himself in to police custody.

Mayor Walt Maddox says the three officers showed tremendous amounts of courage while putting their lives in danger.

“Thank you for what you do every day and thank you for the sacrifices you make to yourselves and your families to protect all of us. In so many ways we don’t deserve what you provide us, but you come to work every day and do it. And your hard work is not on us at the city, council and community,” Maddox said.

Officer Berch and Officer Michaels were also awarded the Police Cross which is given when an officer has been wounded in the line of duty during a hostile action.

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