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Webster Officer named NYS Officer of the Year
Webster, N.Y. -- Webster Police Officer Mark Reed was named New Yorks officer of the year Thursday.
"I feel honored to receive an award like this, its truly humbling," Reed said. "But I struggle accepting an award like this because I lost two friends that day and two others were shot."
Reed said there is not a day that goes by that he does not think of December 24, 2012.
Called out to a fire on Christmas Eve, four West Webster firefighters were shot, two killed.
Reed was the first police officer to arrive at the scene of the West Webster ambush.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy presented the award,
It had to have been one of the most chaotic, horrific scenes for anybody to respond to, Duffy said, and then you have Officer Mark Reed come in.
As soon Reed as saw the firefighters, he grabbed his rifle and fired at the shooter, engaging in gunfire for several minutes. Duffy said Reeds actions bought precious time, created a sense of safety for emergency responders and saved the lives of the two wounded firefighters.
His wife and three-month-old daughter at his side, Reed accepted the medal and plaque honoring his heroism. "I just thank God that He gave me the courage and the strength to act that day like I did," said Reed.
Without his knowledge, the Webster Police Department nominated Reed. Duffy said there is no one more deserving of the honor.
The West Webster Fire Department, including the two wounded in the ambush, attended the award ceremony.
"I battle with myself every day, I play every scenario of what could have happened, an emotional Reed said. You know, why did I live and they didnt?"
Headed to the scene, Reed said he was right behind the fire truck when four deer ran out in front of his patrol car. Two deer in each lane, he slammed on the brakes. "My car almost went sideways," Reed said. "It slowed me down and it woke me up."
Fortunate to be alive, Reed said timing is everything and he now plans on spending more time with his family. "My wife was pregnant when all of this happened," Reed said, "so I'm thankful I got to meet my daughter."
Proud to be part of the force, Reed said will always serve his community. "I chose this career knowing it could be dangerous and that unfortunately was one of the scary tragedies we face," Reed said. "But I wouldnt change my career."