Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement after meeting with Officers Mario Gutierrez (Miami-Dade Police Department) and Niel Johnson (North Miami Police Department), the two police officers from Florida who were honored at the White House yesterday and presented with the Medal of Valor:
“Earlier this morning, thousands of law enforcement officers around the country clocked out after working another graveyard shift, which remains one of the most challenging and dangerous jobs around. They returned home to their families, most of whom sleep a little uneasy each night worried about their loved ones and then breathe a little sigh of relief each time they receive confirmation they’re ok and on their way home.
“The 13 heroes who received the Medal of Valor, including two from Florida, remind us of all that our law enforcement community – and their families – do for us every day, around the clock. They put their lives at risk in the name of public safety and justice, and we should never take them for granted.
“I was honored to meet Officer Gutierrez and Officer Johnson and was blown away by both of their stories but also by their humility in believing they were simply doing their jobs. We are lucky to have them, and the many other men and women like them, on the thin blue line each day. May God bless our law enforcement officials around the country, and may God bless their families.”
The photo below can be credited to the office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.
Rubio with Officers Mario Gutierrez (Miami-Dade Police Department) and Niel Johnson (North Miami Police Department):
According to the White House, the Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect others from harm.
Below is additional information on the two Floridians honored at the White House:
Officer Mario Gutierrez (Miami-Dade Police Department, FL) for bravery and composure while enduring a violent attack. Officer Gutierrez sustained multiple stab wounds while subduing a knife-wielding assailant who attempted to set off a massive gas explosion that could have resulted in multiple fatalities.
Officer Niel Johnson (North Miami Police Department, FL) for swift and valorous action to end a violent crime spree. Officer Johnson pursued a man who had shot a Miami police officer and two other innocent bystanders, withstanding fire from an assault weapon, and apprehended the assailant.