(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) Their job is to protect and serve. However, on Monday, first responders from across the state were in Jefferson City to be thanked for their outstanding work in the line of duty.
Governor Mike Parson presented 18 public safety officers with Missouri Public Safety Medals for heroic, life-saving or extraordinary acts.
"Every day, day in and day out, you guys and you women do your jobs the way it should be done, with honor and with integrity," said Governor Parsons, addressing the crowd that had assembled at the Missouri State Highway Patrol-Law Enforcement Training Academy where the event was held.
Among those receiving the Governor's Medal were Cameron Police Chief Richard Bashor, State patrol Trooper Bradley Muck and several staff members from the Crossroads Corrections Center. They included Cpt. Cody Ross, Lt. Jason Huff, Mjr. Cade Thompson and Cpt. Andrew Fritzinger.
It was through their joint effort they were able to end the 2018 riot and standoff at Crossroads and safely regain control of more than 200 inmates.
"What an honor to come down and meet the governor and be presented and hear all the other stories across the state," Bashor said.
Muck has been a trooper for five years, but had just completed hostage negotiator training just weeks before the prison riot.
"Just staying calm and listening and listening to their concerns and trying to reach a mutual agreement," Muck said, describing how he used his training to end the situation. "I'm very happy that nobody was seriously injured and everything turned out ok."
The governor also presented trooper Matthew Neely of Osborn with a medal of honor for his successful pursuit and capture of a fleeing gunman who had been firing at him.
"It was pretty scary, honestly, but I knew I had a job to do and I had to do my job," he said.
For the governor, the event was special. In the past, Parson served for 12 years as the Polk County sheriff. He said he knows of the dangers of the job and sacrifices public safety officials make daily.
"It's unfortunate in my time as a sheriff of my hometown county, I lost an officer in the line of duty," Parson said. "I had another individual shot in the line of duty and I lost a brother in law who was an EMT."
Also among those recognized on Monday were responders involved in rescue efforts during the Table Rock Lake duck boat sinking and a civilian who intervened and ended an attack of an axe-wielding man upon a woman who had sustained life-threatening injuries.