Injured Roanoke police officer nominated for award
By Neil Harvey | The Roanoke Times
Roanoke police Officer Bryan Lawrence -- who inspired a wave of public response last year after he was injured and paralyzed in the line of duty -- has been nominated for a national award that carries a $10,000 prize.
The AMW All-Star Contest, sponsored by the program "America's Most Wanted" and by Sprint, recognizes first responders for special achievements.
"It's kind of a way of saying 'thank you' for the job they do every day, putting their lives on the line," Pat Dinota, one of the contest's producers, said by telephone Friday.
Beginning Sunday, voters will be able to go online and cast electronic ballots for the nominees.
Finalists will be selected each week for eight weeks, after which voters will pick one of the eight finalists for the grand prize -- a $10,000 check presented by "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh on May 16 at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte, N.C.
Although it remains unknown how many people might have nominated Lawrence for the award, one of them is Robert Matt.
He moved to Roanoke from Virginia Beach in May, the same month Lawrence was attacked, and said as a newcomer he found the incident tragic but also inspiring.
"I was really touched by the outpouring of support, especially the motorcycle run," Matt said. "It's an awesome story all around. What we need to do now is get the word out, spread awareness and get some votes."
The winner of last year's contest was Deputy Martin Lawing, from Burke County, N.C., who in 2007 was critically injured and paralyzed when he was shot in the neck during a police standoff.
For more information about the AMW All-Star Contest, go to AMW.com | AMW All-Star Home