MPD honors over 80 officers at annual awards ceremony

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Justice and Protection — two words that the men and women in blue live by when serving the City of Memphis.

Thursday, over 80 officers were honored for taking those words to heart.

Hundreds gathered to honor the men and women who spend every day saving and protecting lives right here in the Bluff City.

“We thank each of you for joining us to recognize the honor and sacrifice and outstanding performance of the officers that have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” one MPD officer said as she welcomed friends and family to the ceremony. 

The Officers of the Year award, Merit of Valor medals, and Top Cop title were some of the awards given at the Memphis Police Department’s 2023 awards ceremony.

This year, a new award was given, not for someone who wears a uniform, but instead for someone who helped save the life of an officer.

The very first Citizen’s Award of Valor recipient is Dontavious Burnett, a driver who noticed smoke coming from a police cruiser in a ditch and went straight down to help.

When he approached the vehicle, Burnett found a lieutenant unconscious in her cruiser.

”My next step was to call the dispatch so they could get the fire department and the MPD right away,” Burrett says.

MPD says that if Burnett had not stepped in, that lieutenant would not be here today.

But Burnett says it was just a blessing to be there to help her.

“Where would we be without the police?” he asked.

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