published Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Chattanooga officer Lorin Johnston named a national Top Cop

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    Officer Lorin Johnston was wounded while responding to the armed robbery call. He was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released, officials said.

Kneeling over the injured police sergeant, Lorin Johnston shielded his fellow officer with his body after suffering gunshot wounds to his own back and leg.

For his actions during the April 2, 2011, gunfight that killed Chattanooga police Sgt. Tim Chapin, Johnston will be honored by the National Association of Police Organizations as one of the country's 10 Top Cops.

"Johnston's courage and loyalty, despite his own injuries, make him a living testament to the outstanding qualities found only in America's Top Cops," the National Association of Police Organizations wrote.

The organization represents 241,000 officers nationwide. Each state and territory nominates an officer or team, who are judged by fellow law enforcement professionals for the Top Cops title.

Johnston and the nine other honorees will travel to Washington, D.C., in May for an awards ceremony.

Attempts to reach Johnston on Monday were unsuccessful.

The other recipients have daring police stories, as well, including tracking down a murderous fugitive, shooting a man on a killing spree and a windy mountain helicopter rescue.

"Law enforcement officers care deeply about the citizens and communities they serve, and this honor is one way of letting them know their contributions are not taken for granted," said National Association of Police Organizations Executive William Johnson in a news release.

Jesse Mathews, 26, was arrested in connection with Chapin's death and now faces charges including first-degree murder, attempted murder and robbery. His trial is set for January 2013.

Contact staff writer Steve Hardy at 423-757-6476 or shardy@timesfreepress.com.

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