The Medal of Valor is the Los Angeles Police Department’s most prestigious award and may be awarded to officers who distinguish themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of police service.

To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an officer shall have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.

This year, ten LAPD officers qualified and received the prestigious awards.

One such example of extraordinary courage with lives on the line was the actions of Officers Owen Berger and Thorsten Timmerans.

In the early morning hours of November 7, 2007, Officers Berger and Timmermans were working Southeast Area patrol when they responded to a call of a man with a gun and two hostages inside a house. When they arrived, they met with Sergeant Dan Gardner and two women who insisted that there were no threats inside the house. Doing their due diligence, they went into the house where a woman had been taken hostage by an armed man. The armed man fired at the officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred. Officer Berger was struck by the suspect’s gunfire in the right arm, the hostage was freed and the suspect was taken into custody.

The awards were presented by Chief Charlie Beck and the event was emceed by actress Regina King of the police drama, Southland.

The awards ceremony, which was held on Thursday, May 26, 2011, was the 50th annual awards luncheon.

Founded in 1998, the Los Angeles Police Foundation supports the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) by creating partnerships that provide resources and programs that help the police serve at their highest level and enhance LAPD-community relations.

To date, the Police Foundation has awarded more than $13.8 million in grants to the LAPD and scholarships to students preparing for careers in law enforcement.