Buffalo Police Officer Joseph Doxbeck risked his life when he dove into the icy Buffalo River to save a robbery suspect who got tangled in reeds and debris while trying to escape Feb. 21, 2012.
For his heroism, Doxbeck was presented the Police Department Medal of Valor during a ceremony Friday at Buffalo Police Headquarters.
Doxbeck ignored his own safety when he made the plunge from a dock at the foot of Ohio Street to rescue the suspect, Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda noted.
In other awards:
• The Buffalo Peacemakers group received the Civic Group Award and its leaders, the Rev. Dan Schifeling and the Rev. James Giles, were honored for founding the organization to provide intervention in the lives of city youngsters involved in gang activity or at-risk youths.
• Mayor Byron W. Brown presented his Mayor’s Civilian Awards to David Locke, who flagged down police officers to alert them to an armed robber in a grocery store March 12, 2012, and John Booker, who administered CPR to a woman unconscious and not breathing in her car April 27, 2012.
• Officers Valerie C. Shropshire and Sheila Y. Suggs-Barrons received Department Leadership awards for longtime efforts to help city families victimized by crime and other misfortunes.
• Officer Juan Phillips was presented a Leadership Award for his work as a resource officers at Burgard High School over the past seven years. He was praised by peers for a “commanding yet respectful presence and professional demeanor” at the school.
• Receiving Police Commissioner Medals of Commendation for bravery were: Lts. Mary E. Hanley, Michael A. March and Thomas J. Moran; Detective Sgt. John F. McGrath; and Officers John F. Abrams, Elizabeth A. Baker, Donna M. Benitez, Obed Casillas, Ronald J. Clark, Mark J. Cyrek, David K. Daniels, Dennis R. Gilbert, Robert E. Lee, James R. McAndrew, Joseph F. Mullen, Kathleen M. Paul, Kelvin L. Sharpe, Joseph J. Szafranski and Robert W. Yeates.
• Medals of Commendation were also given to the department’s K-9 Unit and their dogs: Lt. Salvatore P. Losi, leader of the unit, and his dog Thor; and officers (and their dogs) David Acosta and Konan, James R. Howe and Stark, Dennis J. Kessler and Duke, John T. Kujawa and Destro, Budilio R. Rodriguez and Ares, and Mary Ellen Sawicki and Herc.