Eight Oak Creek police officers to be honored at White House
The first eight Oak Creek police officers who rushed to the scene to stop a mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin will be honored in Washington this weekend during a ceremony Saturday in the Rose Garden at the White House and a law-enforcement awards dinner Sunday night.
The eight are among the recipients of the TOP COPS Award presented by the National Association of Police Organizations.
Seven people, including the gunman, died in the Aug. 6 attack.
The first officer on the scene, Lt. Brian Murphy, confronted the gunman, was shot 15 times and survived.
Oak Creek officer Sam Lenda wounded the gunman with a rifle shot. The gunman, Wade Michael Page, then killed himself.
Along with Murphy and Lenda, the other Oak Creek officers who will be honored are John Finco, Julie Grauberger, Dean Kleinhans, Kelly Romel, Michael Schultz and Derick Slamka.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said, "I couldn't be more proud of how they all responded and acted that day."
Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, said the public knows a great deal about Murphy and Lenda but the nomination honor reflects how the unit viewed itself.
"There were other people in harm's way," he said.
He said for Wisconsin officers to be honored on a national stage "is extraordinary."
"These officers are indeed Wisconsin's finest," he said.