VFW honors local law enforcement at annual banquet - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

VFW honors local law enforcement at annual banquet

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The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hampden District 7, held their annual awards banquet Sunday afternoon.

The VFW paid tribute to Chicopee police officers David Benoit and Johnny Jusino.

The duo came to the aid of state trooper John Vasquez nearly one year ago.

Vasquez was the first to respond to a scene in downtown Chicopee and was shot by Carlos Gonzalez-Lauger.

Gonzalez-Lauger was firing a gun while keeping his former girlfriend and young son hostage.

The two police officers said it meant a lot to be honored for their actions.

"We did what we had to do," said Jusino. "We knew that a comrade was down and we had to save him. We did and then we moved on to what we needed to do. So it is an honor to be recognized for the things we do."

"Some people think, 'oh he's a trooper, you're a city cop,'" said Benoit. "We are all one big family and there are not many of us. So we all have to look out for each other."

Also honored Sunday was the family of Westfield police Officer Jose Torres.

Torres was killed while on a traffic duty assignment at a construction site last summer.

As part of the ceremony, local students were also honored for patriotic essays they wrote in national competitions.

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