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Va. trooper among 26 'Top Cops' honored

Virginia State Police Trooper Kurt J. Johnson, 44, and officers who stopped the Fort Hood shooter were among 26 honored Friday in a Rose Garden ceremony with President Barack Obama and again at a gala in the Warner Theatre in the District before hundreds of their colleagues.

The recognition was part of annual National Police Week events that also included ceremonies to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

Johnson, based on the Eastern Shore, was recognized for pulling a 3-year-old girl from a burning overturned car after she was pinned beneath the dashboard during an accident in Pastoria, Va., on Feb. 6, 2009 -- the girl's birthday.

An officer shot during the Fort Hood rampage by Arlington-born Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan also received a Top Cops award.

The 26 winners came from 10 law enforcement agencies and included officers who: stopped a man who hijacked a school bus; caught an arsonist who set fire to a group home for mentally handicapped adults; eventually adopted one of seven children discovered in cage-like conditions after the deputy sheriff investigated the beating death of a 2-year-old sibling.

-- Mary Pat Flaherty

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  May 17, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Heroes , Mary Pat Flaherty , Virginia  
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