Thursday, February 26, 2009

Virginia Police Officer is First 2009 AMW All-Star Finalist

A Roanoke, Virginia police officer who was seriously injured while attempting to apprehend an assault suspect has become the first weekly finalist in the 2009 America’s Most Wanted All-Star Contest, sponsored by Sprint.

On May 10, 2008, Officer Bryan Lawrence was working off-duty to provide security on a Saturday night when he heard on his radio that a woman had been assaulted at a gas station not far from where he was. Officer Lawrence spotted the two suspects and chased them. He was in the process of apprehending one suspect when the other assaulted him, kicking him so hard in the head that a shoe print was still imprinted on him a day later. The attack left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. He is currently in intensive physical therapy.

Officer Lawrence is as well known in his community for his good deeds as he is for his police work. For example, every year on Mother's Day he would buy roses and bring them to a local nursing home. He also organized and ran an annual motorcycle fundraiser for Alzheimer's patients.

Officer Lawrence is the first of eight weekly finalists to be chosen by the public in the AMW All-Star Contest. Any first responder, such as police, firefighter or EMT, is eligible for the contest, and any member of the public can nominate and vote for their favorite first responder online at The nomination process is simple; all people have to do is fill out a short online form naming their favorite first responder and explaining what makes them an All-Star.

Each weekly finalist will be profiled on America’s Most Wanted (Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on FOX). Through their online votes, the public will choose the grand-prize winner. In May, AMW Host John Walsh will present the 2009 AMW All-Star winner with a check for $10,000 at the NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series™ All-Star Challenge at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Nominations are open at until noon (ET) on April 4, 2009. Members of the public may vote for their favorite first responder once a day, every day. Finalist voting runs through April 12, and the grand-prize winner voting will run April 16-May 5.
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