Four Los Angeles police officers were among 30 law enforcement personnel receiving "Top Cop" awards today at the White House.
"We're grateful for the sacrifices you and your families make, and my administration is committed to making sure that you get what you need," President Barack Obama told the honorees at the Rose Garden ceremony.
The local honorees are Los Angeles Police Department Sgts. Greg Garcia and John D. Shah and Officers Gilberto Rendon Jr. and Richard Garcia.
"Heroism is all around us, inside of all of us, just waiting to be summoned," Obama said. "But, I tell you what -- when gunshots ring out and fire burns hot, when injustice goes unanswered and innocent people cry out for help, it's one thing to talk about courage. It's another thing to respond swiftly, decisively, heroically, with little regard for yourself and complete regard for your fellow man ... these are America's 'Top Cops' ..."
The awards are given annually by the National Association of Police Organizations, a coalition of more than 1,000 police units and associations representing 241,000 rank-and-file law enforcement officers around the country.
"These four courageous heroes are responsible for saving numerous innocent lives during a dangerous hostage situation," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "Their bravery and skill are testimony to the men and women in blue who every day risk their lives to protect and serve the people of Los Angeles."
An awards ceremony was planned tonight at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.