Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sixteen public safety responders and two civilians have received the Missouri Medal of Valor and four new Department of Public Safety awards.

Gov. Eric Greitens presented the awards and also declared Saturday Missouri Public Safety Officers Recognition Day.

The Medal of Valor is the state’s highest award recognizing public safety officers for exceptional courage in trying to protect human life. The Public Safety awards recognize bravery in situations that endangered the public.

Among recipients from across the state was retired Lake Saint Louis police chief Michael Force, who was recognized for being an innovative chief as his department grew from 11 officers to three times the number of officers before he retired in August. He also was honored for his work with young people and service with law enforcement organizations.

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