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Polk deputy named one of nation's 'Top Cops' | Community Spirit

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Polk deputy named one of nation's 'Top Cops'
Polk deputy named one of nation's  'Top Cops'

The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) presented its list of winners and honorable mentions for the Eighteenth Annual TOP COPS Awards on Friday, May 13. Each year since 1994 NAPO has presented the TOP COPS Awards Ceremony to educate the American public about our nation’s heroes and to pay tribute to law enforcement officers in federal, state, county, and local agencies from across the country for actions above and beyond the call of duty during the preceding year.

The sole winner from Florida was from the Polk County Sheriff's Office - 33-year-old Deputy Sheriff Michael L. Braswell, an 11-year veteran of the agency.

Deputy Braswell and Deputy Sheriff Paul Fairbanks were shot by convicted felon Matthew Tutt during the early morning hours of June 25, 2010. Thanks to his quick actions and his bullet-resistant vest, Deputy Braswell was able to survive the shooting and eliminate the threat presented by Tutt, saving not only lives of Deputy Fairbanks and his own, but ensuring that Tutt did not cause further harm to Polk County's citizens.

For his heroism and bravery, he was chosen from hundreds of nominees for this prestigious award. The awards committee selects one law enforcement officer from each of the 50 states, and then further selects the top ten officers from that group as "TOP COPS". Not only was Deputy Braswell chosen as Florida's winner, he is also one of the top ten "TOP COPS" in the nation.

“The TOP COPS Awards® provide an opportunity for all of us to recognize some of the brave men and women in America’s law enforcement community who selflessly put their lives on the line day in and day out” said Johnson.  “Law enforcement officers care deeply about citizens and communities they serve, and this honor is one way of letting them know their contributions are not taken for granted.”

The Eighteenth Annual TOP COPS Awards® ceremony was held at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, 2011.

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