Alexandria honored some of its bravest men and women in uniform Thursday at the 27th annual Valor Awards.
Officer Peter Laboy was among those who received an award. He was shot on the job earlier this year, but Thursday’s award was for something he did months before the shooting.
In October 2012, Ofc. Laboy, with the help of Officer Anthony Gorham, peacefully subdued an armed, volatile suspect.
Ofc. Laboy received a loud standing ovation for the valor shown by a man who, in the past several months, has shown great strength.
“He shows us his courage and stamina to come through and be where he is now from the injury he had today,” says Ofc. Gorham.
Ofc. Gorham is elated to see Ofc. Laboy talking, smiling, and shaking hands, but not surprised his recovery has been so fast and remarkable.
“He has the fortitude,” Ofc. Gorham says. “He’s going to come through whatever comes his way. He’ll be the last one standing.”
“He himself said, “I want to go to Valor and I want to be in uniform, Chief.’ I said of course, because for him he’s never left our family,” say Chief Earl Cook.
The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Valor Awards honors the best of police, fire, and sheriffs from the previous year, including the team of fire and rescue workers who quickly responded to Joshua Weissman.
Weissman, a first responder, died in February 2012 after mistakenly jumping over a highway median and into a ravine while rushing to rescue a person trapped in a burning vehicle.
“He always had a smile on his face. Hopefully he’s looking down on us today and smiling on all of us and keeping that going," says Lt. David Bogozi of the Alexandria Fire Department.
As for Ofc. Laboy, friends and colleagues often talk about how anxious he is to get back to work. Chief Cook says he has a secret weapon, his wife, Suzanne, who is always reminding her husband to take his recovery slow and steady.