Washington state honored members of law enforcement Friday who have been killed in the line of duty or have shown exceptional conduct on the job.
At the law enforcement memorial Friday, Governor Jay Inslee presented the Medal of Honor for posthumous service to the families of Tacoma Police Officer Jake Gutierrez and King County Deputy Wesley F. Cherry. It is the highest honor it the state for law enforcement.
Antoinette Gutierrez, Jake’s sister, accepted the award on behalf of her brother.
"I absolutely am proud of him,” Antoinette said. “He's my hero, he'll always be my hero. I know Jake is probably just shaking his head. He was just a very kind of humble guy. His job didn't define him; it was just a part of who he was."
She embraces the support, but it hasn't been easy emotionally.
"It's a bit overwhelming at times. My brother and I were always very close and just to see everybody around is just a little bit overwhelming," she said.
Injured Mount Vernon police officer Mike McClaughry was able to accept the Medal of Honor award for serious injury Friday.
"With the Gutierrez family, our hearts are with you,” said Inslee, “But I cannot refrain from commenting on the joy that we feel for Mount Vernon's officer Mike McClaughry. It’s the happiest event to see his recovery."
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