CLEARWATER — Clearwater police Officer Kyle Resler put himself in harm's way to stop a 14-year-old boy who tried to run down officers, then rammed a police cruiser in a stolen vehicle in October.
Officer Salvatore Accomando refused to give up on a woman who was trying to kill herself. He subdued her and confiscated the knife she used to cut herself last November.
On Thursday afternoon, police Chief Tony Holloway honored the two officers in a ceremony at police headquarters.
"In both situations, Officer Resler and Officer Accomando only had a moment to react," the chief said. "Their quick thinking and heroic actions potentially saved either their life or that of another individual."
Resler received the Medal of Valor, given to an officer who "intelligently and in the line of police duty performs an act of gallantry and valor above and beyond the call of duty, at imminent personal hazard to life and with knowledge of the risk," according to a news release.
Accomando was awarded the Medal of Meritorious Service, for an officer who performs a life-saving action or an act that demonstrates a high level of courage.
According to Clearwater police, Resler was one of several officers who responded to a burglary call on Oct. 12. The officers found four teenage suspects in a stolen white pickup truck on Chateau Wood Drive. Resler shot at the vehicle after the 14-year-old driver accelerated toward Resler and another officer, then slammed into a police cruiser as he tried to flee, police said. Resler's shot hit one of the passengers, who survived, before the truck crashed into a ditch.
Police arrested all four of the teens, ages 14 to 18, who were found with a stolen motorbike, on felony charges.
The shooting was ruled justified by a police administrative review board.
Accomando's recognition stemmed from a Nov. 14 incident in which he responded to a call about a suicidal woman who had locked herself in a bathroom and threatened to slit her own throat.
Accomando was able to partially force open the bathroom door and saw the woman cutting herself, police said. She was bleeding badly and refused to give up her knife.
That's when Accomando deployed his Taser, which made the woman drop the blade.
Paramedics were then able to treat the woman, who survived, police said.