KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Police Department recognized numerous officers at an award ceremony earlier this month to show appreciation for the officers’ courageous and dedicated acts of service.
“I’m proud of the brave men and women of the KCPD who put their lives on the line each day to keep us safe,” Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer said. “The officers recognized with these awards for their courage in the line of duty are exemplary officers. They are deserving of this recognition for their service to our community.”
Officer Blaine Kennedy received the Distinguished Service Medal and Purple Heart Award for his action and injuries sustained during an incident last year. On June 3, 2020, Kennedy was attempting to help a man when the individual stabbed the officer in the chest. Though critically injured, Kennedy gathered himself and chased down the suspect, detaining him until other officers arrived.
Officer Noah Stigall received the Distinguished Service Medal for an act of courage and vigilance in December of last year. Officer Stigall was driving home from work on Dec. 18, 2020, when he noticed a home that was on fire. Without a second thought, Stigall rushed into the burning home and rescued two children.
The Distinguished Service Medal is the second highest accolade awarded by the department and is presented to a member who performs a “dangerous and distinguished act that conspicuously exceeds the performance in which is normally expected.”
A helicopter crew was also honored for their quick decision making and daring apprehension of a homicide suspect. The crew tracked down the suspect while in the air, landed in an unexpected spot and proceeded to chase the suspect down on foot to detain him.
Department employees who dedicated themselves to improving the Kansas City Police Department’s services also received recognition.
“The officers recognized in this award ceremony, much like others recently recognized for their heroic acts of courage to save the lives of two young children, are simply a glimpse of the dedication and commitment members of KCPD display on a daily basis here in our community,” said Tye Grant, President and CEO of the Police Foundation of Kansas City.
“Based on my experiences working with our officers, they complete their work each day with no thought of recognition for the many selfless acts they choose to do that generally go unnoticed by us all. We are lucky to have a police department full of wives, husbands, moms, dads, daughters, sons, even grandparents and grandkids, who go out every day simply to make our/their neighborhoods here in Kansas City safer. Thank you KCPD!”
Before serving as head of the Police Foundation of Kansas City, Grant served 26 years as an officer for KCPD before retiring with the rank of Major.
The award ceremony took place at the Regional Police Academy. The full list of award recipients is as follows:
Certificate of Appreciation
Detective Danielle Kincaid
Sergeant Justin Pinkerton
Officer Marc Canovi
Officer Michael Schneider
Officer Kirby Urbanek
Officer Jeremy Chick
Officer Dillon Viet
Officer Cole Modeer
Officer Mark Diviak
Officer Alayna Gonzalez
Special Unit Citation
Traffic Investigations Unit
East Patrol Division 310 Sector Watch IIIA
Meritorious Service Award
Retired Supervisor Mike Russell
Captain William Hewitt
Civilian Kyle Wadlow
Retired Civilian Deborah Yelverton
Officer Scott Brujia
Officer Bradley Rains
Certificate of Commendation
Sergeant Billy Dotson
Officer Matthew Francois
Officer Brandon Sherman
Officer Alexander Votaw
Officer Joseph Chabot
Officer Darin Lutz
Distinguished Service Medal
Officer Noah Stigall
Distinguished Service Medal and Purple Heart Award
Officer Blaine Kennedy