Several law enforcement officers from Central Virginia received the Award of Valor this week from the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation.

That’s the association’s highest honor, reserved for exceptional service and heroism.

Included on that list was Cpl. Christopher Huber of the Charlottesville Police Department.

He was among the officers responding to a call of shots fired on Hardy Drive on Sept. 8 last year. A resident told him the suspect was inside an apartment, and Cpl. Huber entered. The suspect emerged from the kitchen, and was recognized as being wanted on outstanding warrants.

The man fired his handgun. Cpl. Huber returned fire, wounding the suspect. After taking the man’s weapon, he and other officers began to perform first aid on him.

Cpl. Huber thought he’d received just a graze, but later learned he’d taken a direct hit. (His bulletproof vest likely saved his life.)

His attention was more focused on saving the life of the man who’d injured him, the VACPF noted. “This act of selflessness and bravery is a tribute to Corporal Huber’s character and his dedication to the Charlottesville Police Department and to his profession,” the organization said, “as well as his unyielding commitment to those he serves.”

Two Louisa officers and a State Police agent were involved in a similar situation on May 8, 2017.

A Louisa County woman had called 911 to report a domestic disturbance, and when Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Clore responded she shot at him with a handgun.

He took cover and called for backup. Special Agent Martin Kriz from the Virginia State Police and Lt. Robert Hix from the sheriff’s office responded.

Trooper Kriz ordered the woman to drop her weapon, but instead she began shooting at them. They fired back, and she was wounded.

Officers then switched roles and began providing first aid to control bleeding until rescue personnel could arrive. She survived to face trial.

Meanwhile, officers from Wythe and Prince William counties and the cities of Fredericksburg, Suffolk and Lynchburg, along with other State Police officers, also received recognition for valor. Among them were two K9s — Arko, who apprehended a man who had stabbed an officer in Lynchburg, and Vader, who was killed by gunfire as State Police officers pursued a Connecticut murder suspect in Sussex.

Our thanks to these officers for their heroism. We also recognize and thank all officers who put their lives and safety on the line to protect the public.

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