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Abilene Police Department recognizes officers, civilians for accomplishments in 2016

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ABILENE, Texas - The Abilene Police Department recognized officers and citizens for going above and beyond in 2016.

The department handed out awards during a ceremony Wednesday at the Abilene/Taylor County Law Enforcement Center.

Two officers were awarded for an act of bravery last fall.

Just after 1 a.m. on Oct. 6, patrol officer Jerod Daniel smelled smoke and followed it to a duplex on South 2nd Street. He and fellow officer Cory Davis found an unconscious woman inside. They worked together to get her out, and in doing so, saved her life.

For this they were honored with medals of valor from the department.

"It's cool, but the reward was, you know, actually doing what we did," said APD officer Jerod Daniel. "It was cool to get out there and actually help somebody and have a positive impact. That means a lot more than getting a plaque."

"Nothing we do really is for awards ever," said officer Cory Davis. "The biggest reward would be that [Marjorie] Pardue gets to continue living. So that's the most meaningful thing that happened through the whole event."

Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said 2016 was "a remarkable year." Besides honoring law enforcement and civilians for saving both human and animal lives last year, officers were recognized for improving their fitness. One officer was recognized for not calling in sick for the last 30 years.

"Tremendous growth and positive stories came out of the police department," Standridge said. "You had countless examples of heroism. You had officers acting professionally as they engaged the community. We had a lot of collaborative efforts with our local businesses."

Daniel and Davis, who received perhaps the highest honors at the ceremony, said their real award came that morning back in October.

"Doing what we actually got to do was the best part of it, actually saving her life, getting an award for it is just kinda to help you remember it," Daniel said.

Standridge said the medal of valor is a rare honor. He said he's only given it out one other time in the seven years he's been chief.

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