CHICAGO — An officer injured during an August gun exchange was one of two people given the top honor at the 52nd annual Police Recognition Ceremony on Wednesday.
Sgt. Nyls Meredith, of Beverly, and Officer Tyrone Pendarvis, of Roseland, were awarded the Police Medal at the event. Meredith also received a Blue Star Award and Award of Valor, and Pendarvis was granted an Award of Valor.
More than 50 other Chicago Police Department officers also received the Award of Valor, and Pendarvis was one of nine officers to receive the Blue Star Award.
"They put themselves in harm's way to protect our communities and to enforce the laws of our city and our state...," said Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy. "Their character embodies the core values at the heart of all that we do: professionalism, leadership, integrity, excellence, teamwork."
During the announcement speech, master of ceremonies Bill Kurtis said Meredith and Pendarvis were on routine patrol in August when they came across three men they believed were armed. The men fled, and while Meredith was securing one who had been apprehended, another man shot the officer in the knee. Meredith returned fire and the man was apprehended, but Meredith needed 11 surgeries and was in a trauma hospital for two and a half months as a result of the injury. He is still recovering from his wounds, Kurtis said.
"When you're put in a situation to either defend yourself or either help others out there on street, you always revert back to your training," Meredith said. "And part of being successful in this job is to maintain and make sure you do go through your training successfully so you can react to different situations when you encounter them."
Pendarvis said he was surprised to receive the award, but he expected Meredith to be honored.
"He took it to another level...," Pendarvis said. "He went above and beyond during the incident, in which he got shot and still pursued the offender."
The Police Medal is "presented annually by the superintendent of police ... when, in his judgment, the accomplishments or performance of the individual member was so outstanding as to justify additional recognition," according to the ceremony program. The recipients must also have received the Superintendent's Award of Valor, Police Blue Star or Police Blue Shield awards.
The Award of Valor is granted in recognition of an act of heroism, and a Blue Star award is given to officers who are seriously injured while performing their duties.
The event was held at the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Upper Wacker Dr.