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CPD honors its own in special ceremony for present and fallen officers

CPD honors its own in special ceremony for present and fallen officers
CPD honors its own in special ceremony for present and fallen officers 02:18

CHICAGO (CBS) — Several Chicago heroes were recognized Wednesday for risking their lives to protect others.

From the Chicago police honor guard and bagpipes to the national anthem, hundreds of Chicago police officers gathered to break bread and recognize their colleagues at the 63rd annual Chicago Police Recognition Ceremony.

"We're here to celebrate our officers and the hard work that they engage in," said CPD Superintendent Larry Snelling.

Thirteen officers received the Superintendent's Award of Valor, a prestigious award for those who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety.

The families of fallen officers Andres Vasquez-Lasso and Areanah Preston received the awards on their behalf.

Preston was shot and killed during an attempted robbery last year.

"I'm always honored that they honor her. I do know that they'll never forget her," said Dionne Mhoon, Preston's mother. "I just think she deserves it. I think she's amazing. I still talk about her in the present. An amazing person. Twenty-four years old, law degree. She beat me."

Many tears fell as the Vasquez-Lasso and Preston families walked onto the stage.

Mhoon said they share a special bond.

"We have definitely become an instant family, as well as the Huesca family," Mhoon said. 

Officer Luis Huesca was shot and killed while returning home from his shift.

Mhoon said she's grateful to have received the police Blue Star Award and Superintendent's Award of Valor on behalf of her daughter. Still, she wishes Preston was on stage instead.

"I wish I wasn't there for that. It would be an award for something else, but I embrace it. I embrace it," Mhoon said.

Both Vasquez-Lasso and Preston were awarded the police Medal of Honor, which is the highest award in the department.

Superintendent Snelling said the family of CPD Officer Luis Huesca will be honored next year.

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