Chief Fred Fletcher, left, awards Officer Dennis Pedigo a purple heart during the Chattanooga Police Department's annual awards ceremony held at Calvary Chapel on Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Pedigo was awarded the medal after he was shot responding to the July 16, 2015, shootings at area military facilities.

Photo Gallery

Chattanooga police honors officers for saving lives, extraordinary valor

General Life Saving Awards

Officer Ric Engle

Officer Jeffrey Buckner

Officer Aaron Williams & Officer Jason Russell

K-9 Officer Steven Meador

Sgt. Traci May & Officer Celtain R. Batterson

Sgt. Bryan Churchwell

July 16 Life Saving Awards

For the recovery of injured Petty Officer Randall Smith

Officer Benjamin Piazza

Officer Christian Mullinix

Officer Edward Buckman

Sergeant Chad Sullivan

Lieutenant Craig Joel

Officer Jeremy Eames

Officer Shane Lawson

Officer Chad Rowe

For the recovery of Officer Dennis Pedigo Jr.

Officer Curtis Morris

Officer Sean O’Brien

Officer Lucas Timmons

Officer Ty Cooper

Officer Steve Wiertel

Officer Barry Vradenburg

Officer Jason Randall Wood

Officer Jennifer McCoy

Officer Michael S. Smith

Source: Chattanooga Police Department


Chattanooga police honored about 75 officers for various achievements and accomplishments on Thursday during the department's annual awards ceremony at Calvary Chapel on Broad Street.

Officers and civilians were recognized for everything from pulling a man from a burning building to providing exceptional leadership in the wake of the July 16, 2015, terrorist-inspired attacks.

Many of those who accepted awards did so for actions on and after the July 16 attack. Police Chief Fred Fletcher gave nine officers life-saving awards for helping to pull Officer Dennis Pedigo out of the line of fire after he was wounded during the attack.

Another eight officers were recognized for helping U.S. Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith escape the attack after he was shot multiple times. He later died at a hospital.

U.S. Navy Chief Charlie Barba spoke during the ceremony. He said he and another person helped care for Smith in the moments after the 26-year-old was mortally wounded. They were huddled in a small office.

"It wasn't until [Chattanooga police] arrived that we began to feel safe," he told the crowd.

Officers were also recognized for performing life-saving CPR, yanking a suicidal woman down from the edge of a bridge, pulling a child away from a man armed with a gun and keeping a person with a deep cut in the wrist from bleeding to death.

"Today is one of my favorite days of the year," Fletcher said. "To celebrate the heroism of officers that goes above and beyond the everyday heroism."

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or with tips or story ideas. Follow @ShellyBradbury.