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White House recognizes Duluth cop with national honor

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One of Duluth's finest is now wearing the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor – the nation's highest award for police and emergency responders.

Police Lt. Brad Wick received the medal in a White House ceremony this morning. The award, which Vice President Joe Biden handed out following a speech, recognizes Wick's actions during a 2011 shootout.

The dramatic incident began with a chase involving two suspects who had robbed a Walgreens and stolen a car at gunpoint. According to the Star Tribune, the two broke into a woman's house, and gunfire was exchanged in "what was turning into a hostage situation." Wick fatally shot one of the suspects after being fired upon.

The woman was shot in the leg by one of the intruders, but survived, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay told the paper that Wick is "a very humble guy. He's not one that wants to be in the spotlight...but, obviously, his actions that night indicate that he likely saved the lives of other people."

It's not the first time Wick has been recognized for his bravery in the 2011 incident – the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association named him Officer of the Year in 2012, according to the Duluth Police Department.

Wick was in some good company during today's ceremony. According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, seven police officers and firefighters from Watertown, Massachusetts were also among the recipients today – they were involved in the shootout with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Two police officers from Oak Creek, Wisconsin were recognized as well. The BJA says they incapacitated a suspect who had opened fire at a Sikh Temple and by doing so "helped save many lives."

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A twenty-six year veteran of the Duluth Police Department has been named the 2012 Police Officer of the Year in Minnesota. Sgt. Brad Wick fatally wounded a home invasion suspect who was involved in a string of crimes. Two officers from the St. Paul Police Department were awarded honorable mentions, Sgt. Bill Haider and Officer Mike Carroll.