Welcoming to the White House the recipients of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) 2014 TOP COPS award, President Obama on Monday hailed 53 officers, detective, patrolmen, special agents and troopers as "America's finest - the best of the best."
"Different events brought them here today, but they share one important thing in common," the president said.
"When a shooting started or a bomb went off or a hostage was taken or a child screamed for help, they did not hesitate. They went into action. They ran toward the danger, not away from it. And they risked their lives to save the lives of others."
Mr. Obama shared some of the stories of valor that earned the officers TOP COPS distinction, and said Americans everywhere "owe a debt" to United States law enforcement.
"We have to do our part when making sure all of you have the resources and protections and support that you need to do your job well," he said.
"That's our end of the bargain. That's what I'm going to keep fighting for every day that I have the honor of being your president."
And the honorees' family members are just as worthy of recognition, the president added: "We know it takes a lot of courage to be a cop, but it also takes a lot of courage to love a cop, and to send them off to work every day with a hug and a prayer for their safety," he said. "So all of you are heroes in my book as well."