HP Recognizes Medal Recipients

The Highland Park Department of Public Safety awarded Captain Marc Rossini and public safety officer Josh Gonzales the Medal of Valor and field training officer Justin Davis the Meritorious Conduct Medal.

“Every once in a while, they’re called to do something that is acutely traumatic, and it is outside of the job description,” Highland Park Police Chief Paul Sandman said. “Specifically what I’m talking about is when they put their own personal safety at risk to take care of one of these jobs.”

The Medal of Valor, which is the department’s highest award, was awarded to the pair for entering rapidly-rising waters of a flash flood to rescue two victims trapped in a stalled vehicle on May 18, 2019.

“On that night, these two officers put their own lives […] at risk to save a couple other lives, and for that, thank you gentlemen,” Sandman said.

Davis was awarded the Meritorious Conduct Medal, the department’s second-highest award, for entering Connor Lake to rescue a man pinned underwater beneath an overturned riding mower on July 21, 2020.

“Davis was the first officer to arrive on scene, and without a moment’s hesitation, jumped into the water to save the victim,” Sandman said. “Even in the slippery conditions of the flood water and underwater vegetation, Davis was able to lift the mower and place it in a position where the victim could be rescued and pulled from the water.”

Sandman apologized for the delay in distributing these awards, but plans to rededicate himself to prioritize these awards to recognize officers in a more timely manner.

“It’s incumbent upon me as a leader in the department to pull these things out to tell these men and women and the rest of the men and women working in this department how special these events are,” Sandman said.

These awards were distributed during the Jan. 17 Highland Park Town Council meeting. During the meeting and study session, the council also:

  • Approved an interlocal agreement with the North Central Texas Council of Governments for Nearmap imagery.
  • Approved to extend the construction time period for a new single family residence at 3121 Beverly Drive.
  • Approved a proposal submitted by SRH Landscapes for moving town parks and green space services.
  • Discussed a donation for additional lighting along Lakeside Drive and planned improvements for Lakeside Park.
  • Discussed the replacement of the town’s data center service system.
  • Reviewed the annual comprehensive financial report and related audit for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
  • Reviewed an amendment to the town’s current fire prevention code.
  • Reviewed and discussed the monthly financial and investment report for the period ending Oct. 31, 2022.

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