California Department of Justice Agents Honored for Heroism and Bravery

Tuesday, June 8, 1999
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Sacramento -- An agent steps in front of a wounded agent and returns fire with a suspect... an agent taken hostage with his hands tied behind his back charges a suspect and kicks a gun out of his hands... agents surveilling gang members witness a drive-by shooting, endure automatic gunfire during a pursuit through three cities and survive an ambush before apprehending the suspects... agents transporting a prisoner discover an apartment engulfed in flames, summon the fire department, rescue one occupant and evacuate others from the building: these are examples of the types of brave and heroic actions for which Attorney General Bill Lockyer will honor 32 California Department of Justice Special Agents tonight.

Lockyer will present the awards to the agents during the first ever Attorney General's Special Agent Awards Ceremony at the Radisson Hotel in Sacramento. The 32 agents will receive 36 awards: four will receive the Special Agent Medal of Valor for risking their lives to protect a fellow officer or agent; 23 will receive the Special Agent Medal of Meritorious Service for bravery in emergency situations; and nine will receive the Special Agent Purple Heart for sustaining serious injuries in a hostile situation. Four agents will receive two awards each, six have retired from state service, and four will be honored posthumously -- two who died in the line of duty. This is the first awards ceremony for California Department of Justice Special Agents, and the awards cover actions dating back to 1968.

"We honor and thank these Special Agents for service far above and beyond the call of duty - two made the ultimate sacrifice, others risked their lives or showed extraordinary courage," said Lockyer. "These heroic men and women exemplify the overall dedication and spirit of the peace officers that help protect us every day."

Attached is a summary of each action and award, which includes current assignments for supervising or managing agents.

# # #