Dothan Officers Receive Department's Top Honors

Dothan, Ala. (WSFA) -- For officers Arthur Schaefer and Walter Handley this day is a far cry from March 28.

Both were shot and wounded as they answered a robbery call, but this day is much different.

With family and friends in attendance they were honored for their bravery.

"I'm proud to work with officers of the caliber we have here and the civilian staff we have here," said Dothan Police Chief John Powell.

Officer Schaefer was awarded the Medal of Valor, Police Cross, Lifesaving Medal and Purple Heart.

Officer Handley was awarded the Police Star, Police Cross, Lifesaving Medal and the Purple Heart.

Chief John Powell was surprised during a conversation he had when visiting officer Handley in the hospital not long after he was shot.

"He was laying there injured and he still wanted to make sure he could go to the police academy to serve the citizens of this community," said Powell.

This awards ceremony follows a week were we remember fallen officers of law enforcement agencies across the country.

Officials say this day was a celebration and they're glad they could have it.

"It should bring to mind all over again what it means to be a hero, and this is what it means to be a hero," said Alabama's Attorney General Troy King.

The Medal of Commendation was presented to Houston County Sheriff's Deputy Donovan Kilpatrick.

He came to help of Schaefer and Handley just shortly after shots were fired.

All the officers of 2nd Squad patrol division received Medals of Merit as did the dispatchers on duty that night.

Reporter: Daniel Curtis