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Hero NYPD Officers, Many Of Them Wounded On Duty, Honored For Bravery

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It was an important day Tuesday for the NYPD, as 43 officers were honored for their bravery – six of whom had been shot.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly held the NYPD Medal Day ceremony Tuesday at 1 Police Plaza.

"The acts of bravery, exceptional valor and dedication to duty we are recognizing today illustrate why New York remains the safest big city in America," Bloomberg said in a news release. "These officers have gone well above and beyond the call of duty in protecting the lives and safety of us all. Their courage and professionalism, and the professionalism of the entire department, is why last year we achieved a new record low for the number of murders in our city and why we also had the fewest number of shootings in our city in recorded history."

CBS 2's John Slattery talked with one of the heroes, Sgt. Kevin Brennan, who was shot in the head in January of last year.

"Good days and bad days," Brennan said. "Today's a good day."

Brennan was awarded the police Combat Cross for what happened at the Bushwick Houses public housing development on Jan. 31, 2012. He was shot once in the head during a struggle with 21-year-old armed robber Luis "Baby" Ortiz at the Bushwick Houses, police said. The bullet lodged at the base of Brennan's skull.

More than a month later, Brennan was wheeled out of Bellevue Hospital to the cheers of fellow officers.

The surgeon who removed a fragment of the bullet, called the recovery a miracle. Wearing the jersey of Giants star Justin Tuck, Brennan walked to a waiting car.

Once home, Brennan saw his daughter, Maeve, and then Justin Tuck himself showed up.

Two weeks ago, Brennan and his partner were at the scene of the shooting, prepping two assistant district attorneys when Brennan's partner spotted two robbery suspects. The two cops – Brennan and Officer Michael Burbridge -- nabbed them.

"And one of the gentlemen we stopped had a located 9mm in his waistband," Brennan said.

Brennan, now promoted to sergeant, has been working -- but not on the street.

"We're just really proud of him," said his wife, Janet Brennan. "Something he looked forward to, so we're happy."

Detective Ivan Marcano received the Medal of Honor – the highest police award.

Last October, Marcano was off duty when his girlfriend noticed a robbery taking place in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx. He was shot in the chest as he tried to help the robbery victim, who was being beaten, but still chased the suspects and ended up shooting and killing one of them while using his free hand to apply pressure to his own gunshot wound.

Five other officers shot in the line of duty were also awarded Combat Crosses.

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