The Madison Police Department gave its top award Thursday to the officer who shot and killed a man last summer in what investigators believe was a case of "suicide by cop."
Matthew Kenny received a standing ovation from his peers at a ceremony at Monona Terrace and high praise from his supervisor, Sgt. Sue Armagost, who called him "one of my go-to guys."
But when asked if getting the Medal of Valor made up for the trauma that comes with taking the life of another person, he had a one word answer: "No."
Ronald Brandon, 48, brandished a realistic-looking pellet gun at Kenny and another officer as he stood on the porch of his Camden Road home on July 15. He had been drinking and made a 911 call about a man with a gun - himself - in an apparent attempt to provoke a police response, authorities concluded.
The Dane County district attorney ruled Kenny's action wasjustified.
Also honored Thursday with the Citizen Recognition Award was a woman who pulled a 7-year-old boy to safety after his mother and sister were electrocuted Aug. 22 in a freak accident on Madison's North Side.
Jamie McGee, 29, pulled Malik Chandler to safety after a power line fell in a pool of water where he and his mother and sister were waiting for a Metro Transit bus during a downpour. Her fiance, Demetrius Dobbs, 22, also was killed in the incident. He was honored posthumously by the Police Department for trying to save the boy's mother and sister. The bus driver, Jeffrey Seitz, also was honored for preventing anyone else from leaving the bus and moving it to safety.
Seitz and McGee said the incident remains fresh in their minds. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about it," 1said Seitz.
McGee said Chandler is now living with his grandmother in Chicago and doing well. She said she and Dobbs had planned to marry this month.
"There's really not any closure because you can't bring them back," she said.
Also honored were:Partnership in Building Trust Award: Jan Miyasaki and Mary Anne Thurber.
Outstanding Support Award: Adams Outdoor Advertising, Jack Mercier, Mike and Lynn Beyler.
Citizen Recognition Award: Andrew Fiene, Megan Gussick, Ingrid Hoppman, Catherine M. Kraemer, Lisa Phalow, Susan Roberts, Joe Zamber, Fred York and David Johnson.
MPD Civilian Employee Outstanding Service Award: Jeffrey Cerniglia, Deb Foster, Alice Malacera, Merle Olson, John Williams and Don Zwettler.
Problem Solving Award: Officer Matthew Schroedl.
Outstanding Service Award: Sgt. Linda Kosovac and Officer Greg Rossetti.
Outstanding Service/Problem Solving Award: Detectives Rosa Aguilu and Dorothy Doheny.
Life Saving Award: Officers John Amos, Tracie Jokala, Greg Rossetti, Josh Acker, Dana Cummings, Jerry Briesath, Shannon Siirila, Susan Martens, Samuel Ward and Wade Gummin and Sgts. Chris Paulson and John Rife.
Meritorious Conduct Medal: Sgt. Michael Koval, Officer Meredith York and Detective Marianne Flynn Statz.