Police officers honored for bravery at George Hanna Memorial Awards

BOSTON (WHDH) - During a ceremony aimed at recognizing their own, state troopers and police officers from across Massachusetts gathered Friday to award medals for bravery at the annual George Hanna Memorial Awards.

Among those being recognized was Officer Donald Delaney of the Braintree Police Department, who found himself in a gun battle with an armed suspect at a local Motel 6 in May 2017.

Although Delaney was shot in the head, the other officers who responded with him sprang into action and pulled him behind a pillar to safety.

“I thought I was dead initially, and then I wasn’t,” he said. “I was lucky I had some good guys with me.”

On Friday, the six men who responded to the scene that night were awarded the medal of honor.

One of them was Officer John Hurley, who recalled, “Everything stops and you need to take care of him and get him out of there.”

During the awards ceremony, which is named for a trooper who lost his life in the line of duty 35 years ago, medals for valor were placed around the necks of officers from Everett, Chelsea, the MBTA, Worcester, and Massachusetts State Police.

The ceremony also provided a moment for those in attendance to pause in honor of the men in uniform who were killed on the job this year.

Gov. Charlie Baker said the uptick in violence against police officers is the driving force behind his decision to introduce a dangerousness bill earlier this week that’s aimed at keeping repeat offenders behind bars.

“Folks who have long rap sheets with lots of really bad stuff on them ought to be considered dangerous and not return to the street because it’s becoming pretty clear that some of those folks end up doing some very bad things,” he said.

The Braintree officers say they’re grateful to see the bill brought up, and after a full recovery, grateful to have Delaney back on his beat.

“I’m so happy to see Donny wearing that hat and not a bandage on his head,” Braintree Officer Stephen Wallace said.

Delaney said, “I just wanted to make sure I could go back and still do the job.”

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