California: Governor Newsom Honors Three Law Enforcement Officers With Medal of Valor
The Californer/10271610

SACRAMENTO ~ In a ceremony held today at the state capitol, Governor Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Rob Bonta presented the prestigious Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to three California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers. The award, which is the highest state honor for valor given to a public safety officer, was bestowed upon Officer Aaron Adair, Officer Jeremy Welch, and Officer Troy Wiltshire for their exceptional bravery and selfless actions.

Governor Newsom praised the officers for their heroic efforts, stating that they represent "heroism to the highest degree." He commended them for going above and beyond the call of duty and saving lives while also building trust with California's communities.

Attorney General Bonta also expressed his admiration for the officers, stating that they represent the best of California law enforcement. He emphasized their selfless commitment to safety, service, and security and commended them for putting their own lives on the line to protect others.

Officer Aaron Adair was awarded the Medal of Valor for his actions on February 20th, 2022. He responded to a vehicle pursuit crash on Interstate 10 in Los Angeles where he found a vehicle engulfed in flames with an unconscious person trapped inside. Despite the danger, Officer Adair quickly entered the passenger compartment and freed the driver from their seat before it was consumed by fire. With assistance from his partner and an off-duty deputy, he performed life-saving measures on the driver who had suffered severe injuries. In doing so, Officer Adair also sustained severe burns to his left hand.

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Officers Jeremy Welch and Troy Wiltshire were awarded the Medal of Valor for their actions on March 20th, 2022. Responding to reports of a wrong-way driver on Interstate-10 in Los Angeles, they initiated a traffic break with their patrol vehicle's emergency lights and siren. As they were attempting to stop traffic behind them, they noticed a vehicle approaching them at high speed. In a split-second decision, they placed themselves in harm's way by maneuvering their patrol vehicle in front of the oncoming car, effectively stopping it and preventing potential injuries or fatalities to innocent commuters. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was later arrested for driving under the influence.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2003 gives the Governor the authority to award medals to public safety officers who demonstrate extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. Nominations are received from public safety agencies and reviewed by the Medal of Valor Review Board before being recommended to the Attorney General.

The ceremony was recorded and can be viewed online. The actions of these three officers serve as a reminder of the bravery and dedication displayed by California's public safety professionals every day.

Filed Under: Government, State

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