On Wednesday, Gainesville Police officer Pat Hopkins was honored for saving a Gainesville woman from her burning home.
Hopkins was awarded the Carnegie Medal during a biannual event that recognized community members who helped people in need.
During the event, the crowd of about 100 bowed their heads and held a moment of silence for fallen officers, including three Orlando officers killed in January.
Hopkins received the medal from past recipient Dr. Mark Moore of Tallahassee.
“Police officers and doctors share a lot of things: stress, paperwork and saving lives,” Moore said. “I’m here to honor a hero among you all.”
Two new awards were presented during the ceremony. The Educational Achievement Award honors officers who have earned advanced degrees while on the force, and the Excellence in Community Policing Award is for those who have built strong relationships with residents.
While Tobias Valdez, 39, and his wife watched two friends receive awards, he said he didn’t expect to hear so many stories of bravery in Gainesville.
“You never know what a day in the life of an officer is like,” the stay-at-home dad said. “Normally, we think of traffic stops, but this is saving people’s life and helping to make people’s lives better.”
Correction: This article has been updated to reflect that GPD Officer Pat Hopkins received the Carnegie Medal, not the Carnegie Hero Medal
About 100 people attended the biannual Gainesville Police award ceremony.