Law enforcement across Kansas honored at Award of Valor banquet

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Every year, the Award of Valor Banquet honors the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting the people of Kansas.

Saturday’s banquet marked the 40th year of the event.

"We have to honor each other because they do a lot of great work,” Chief Todd Ackerman of the Marysville Police Department, said. “They put their lives on the line."

Law enforcement from across Kansas gathered at the Capitol Plaza Hotel to recognize outstanding service.

"It can be a thankless job, and that's why we do this,” Chief Mike Keller of the Andover Police Department, said. “To put this together and recognize the officers, the deputies, for everything they do throughout the year."

Sixty-six individuals and unit teams received awards this year.

"To bring the officers, deputies from the sheriff's department, agents from the KBI, troopers from the Highway Patrol, bring them all together and recognize those that stepped up last year and did great things, saved lives and improved law enforcement, it's a great opportunity,” Keller said. “But it's also a somber day.”

"We have what's called the Chief's award, which is killed in the line of duty,” Ackerman said. “For the award, we unfortunately had to give three of them this year. We have two going to Wyandotte County, we have one going down to Sedgwick County out in Wichita."

Wyandotte County deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer, and Sedgwick County deputy Robert Kunze III all died in the line of duty this past year.

"It's a great celebration for the great works that these men and women do, but it is also for us to never forget the ones who did give the ultimate sacrifice for this profession,” Ackerman said.

Here is a full list of this year’s winners:

Chiefs Award:
• Patrick Rohrer, Wyandotte Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Theresa King, Wyandotte Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Robert Kunze III, Sedgwick Co. Sheriff’s Dept.

Gold Award:
• Jeffery Ward, Pratt Police Dept.
• James Shelden, Pratt Police Dept.
• Rebecca Slief, Pratt Police Dept.
• Patrick Tiede, Riley Co. Police Dept.
• Robert Dolan, Kansas City Kansas Police Dept.
• Palmer McCurry-Jackson, Kansas City Kansas Police Dept.
• Locas Graves, Kansas City Kansas Police Dept.
• Wesley Lundgren, Kansas City Kansas Police Dept.
• Nicole Ortego-Fulton, Kansas City Kansas Police Dept.
• Brian Caniglia, Overland Park Police Dept.
• Michael Mosher, Overland Park Police Dept.
• Troy L. Hutchens, Shawnee Police Dept.
• Steven Koenig, Lawrence Police Dept.
• Daniel Trechter, St. George Police Dept.
• Robert Hoskins, Wabaunsee Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Michael D. Baker Sr., Wamego Police Dept.
• Paul Schliffke, Wamego Police Dept.
• Jason Powell, Wamego Police Dept.
• Scott Moses, Kansas Highway Patrol
• Matthew Malo, Kansas Highway Patrol
• Christopher Herbel, Kansas Highway Patrol
• Thomas Harley, Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Kevin Clark, Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Dale Burton, Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Dale Rice, Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Benjamin Reid, Wichita Police Dept.

Silver Award:
• Steven Miller, Riley Co. Police Dept.
• Jonathan Shepard, Riley Co. Police Dept.
• Kristen Jasinski, Merriam Police Dept.
• Hilary Cook, Independence Police Dept.
• Jeremy Vanwey, Reno Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Timothy Wescott, Wichita Police Dept.
• Thomas Wallace, Wichita Police Dept.
• Kailee Oswalt, Wichita Police Dept.
• Josua A. Levasseur, Wichita Police Dept.
• Chelsea D. Williams, Wichita Police Dept.
• Alex Bieler, Wichita Police Dept.
• Michael Purvis, Coffeyville Police Dept.
• Charles Kwin Bromley, Coffeyville Police Dept.
• Toby Hunt, City of Coffeyville
• Jonathan K. Rupp, Fort Hays State University
• Bradley Newson, Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Kenny Hodson, Anthony Police Dept.
• Michael Wagen blast, Riley County Police Dept.
• Dillon Hronek, Prairie Village Police Dept.
• Jonathan Unruh, Prairie Village Police Dept.
• Gwyn Fogarty, Lawrence Police Dept.
• Dustin Lister, Lawrence Police Dept.
• Blake Reed, Lawrence Police Dept.
• Brad Fry, Lawrence Police Dept.
• Taylor Zook, Douglas Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Blake Weekley, Rose Hill Police Dept.

Bronze Award:
• James Cody Parr, Kansas Highway Patrol

Unit Citation – Gold
• Riley Co. Police Dept.
• Junction City Police Dept.
• Grandview Plaza Police Dept.

Unit Citation – Bronze
• Wichita Police Dept. Vice Section
• Ottawa Co. Sheriff’s Dept.
• Kansas Attorney General’s Office
• Kansas Bureau of Investigations
• Linn Co. Sheriff’s Dept.