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Valparaiso Police Officers Honored for Heroism

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The Valparaiso Police Department and Chief Michael Brickner honored three officers – Detective Sgt. Jeff Balon, Officer Jerame Simpson and Officer Keith Perez -- for their heroic efforts during a lengthy hostage situation this past Spring. On May 25th they responded to a call of a man with a gun inside a building on Calumet Avenue. Officials say Officer Perez, who was off-duty, and Officer Simpson, on-duty, made entry and confronted the gunman after assisting numerous individuals to safety. Both officers confronted the suspect inside and exchanged gun fire with him. Detective Sgt. Jeff Balon entered the building and negotiated with the suspect for about five-hours. The department says through Sgt. Balon’s negotiation efforts three hostages were released unharmed. Authorities say the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Balon

Detective Sgt. Jeff Balon

Simpson

Officer Jerame Simpson

Perez

Officer Keith Perez


News Release Valparaiso Police:

December 18, 2012

Three Officers Honored for Actions During Hostage Crisis

The Valparaiso Police Department and Chief Michael Brickner honored three officers for their heroic efforts during a hostage crisis on May 25th 2012. The officers, Detective Sgt. Jeff Balon, Officer Jerame Simpson and Officer Keith Perez were all honored at a ceremony last night at the city council meeting.

Chief of Police Michael Brickner presented Officers Jerame Simpson and Keith Perez with the department's Medal of Merit Award, the second highest award any officer can obtain through the department. Detective Sgt. Jeff Balon was awarded an Honorable Mention Award.

On May 25th all three officers responded to a call of a man with a gun inside the building at 2612 Calumet Ave. Officer Keith Perez, who at the time was off-duty and Officer Jerame Simpson (on-duty) arrived immediately at the location and made entry and confronted the gunman after assisting numerous individuals to safety who were attempting to exit the building. Both officers confronted the armed individual inside the building and exchanged gun fire with the subject. A lengthy hostage situation ensued.

Detective Sgt. Jeff Balon entered the building and for approximately 5 hours Sgt. Balon  negotiated with the gunman. Through Sgt. Balon's negotiation efforts three hostages were released unharmed.  

Each officer was presented with their awards by Chief of Police Michael Brickner. 

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