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1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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May 07, 2002 00:00


On May 7, 2002, seven current, and one former, Portland Police Bureau Officers will receive the Medal of Valor at the 2002 Medal of Valor Diner and Awards Ceremony at the Benson Hotel. The Medal of Valor, which is the highest honor for a Portland Police Officer, honors police officers who knowingly risked their lives to save others. Media representatives are invited to attend a reception prior to the awards and the awards ceremony scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

During the day today, some of award recipients will be available for interviews. Anyone wishing to schedule an interview with an award recipient is asked to contact the Public Information Officer.

The 2002 Medal of Valor recipients are:

Officers Scherise Bergstrom and Christopher G. Humphreys-The officers responded to an apartment fire and entered the building and despite the raging heat of the fire and rescued four people. The two officers’ quick action and personal courage saved the lives of these four people who would have undoubtedly perished in the fire. Officers Shawn Gore and Joshua Letter-The officers pursued suspects involved in an armed robbery at a restaurant. Following a vehicle and foot pursuit, Officer Gore, his canine partner Deny, and Officer Letter followed one subject on foot who fired a handgun at them. Deny eventually apprehended the subject. Because of the officers’ bravery and deployment of exemplary officer safety techniques, violent and prolific armed robbers were apprehended, and an aggressive pattern of crimes was halted. (more)

Officer David K. Michaelson-Following a social occasion at a downtown Portland restaurant with several officers, off-duty Officer Chad Gradwahl was approached and surrounded by 5 to 7 males who recognized him as an officer and attacked him, eventually rendering him unconscious. Returning from a nearby market, Officer David Michaelson ran to the assistance of Officer Gradwahl and was attacked by the group. He fought with their attackers until they ultimately fled from the scene. Officer Michaelson sustained many injuries and had to be hospitalized. But his concern for the safety of an injured fellow officer prevented Officer Gradwahl from sustaining serious physical injury and possibly death.

Sergeant Lawrence P. O’Dea and Officer Andrew Edgecomb- Responding to the report of a residential fire at a three-story house that was fully engulfed in flames, the officers repeatedly re-entered the burning structure looking for what was believed to be five occupants. Despite the flames and heavy smoke, the officers were able to rescue four people and determine the fifth was not at home at the time of the fire. The officers’ brave actions in the face of danger to themselves saved four lives.

Former Officer Craig Ward-Officers were dispatched to a call of a disturbed adolescent with a gun, who had shot at his family before setting forth on foot. Officers encountered the subject as he was walking, and he repeatedly shot at them or their patrol cars. As the subject kept walking, Officer Craig Ward, who had taken up a position of concealment, found himself directly in gunman’s path. With no hard cover available, Officer Ward stood up and pointed his shotgun at him, ordering him to drop his weapon. Refusing to comply, the subject raised his rifle and pointed it directly at Officer Ward. Officer Ward discharged his shotgun. Because of Officer Ward’s brave actions, the subject was prevented from hurting officers or innocent bystanders the subject might have encountered.


Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Desk: 503-823-0830
Pager: 503-790-1779

Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204



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