North Bergen Police Sergeant Alex Barrios and Officer Patrick Corless were each awarded the Medal of Valor – the highest award given by the Hudson County Chiefs of Police Association (HCCOP) – at a special ceremony at Town Hall on Dec. 8, 2017. The awards were presented by Chief Richard Molinari, president of the HCCOP, “for their heroism and courage in the face of a deadly assailant.”
Upon responding to a 911 call at 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 7, the two officers encountered a male assailant who was actively stabbing one of three victims at the time they arrived on scene. After exhausting all efforts to stop the assailant from causing further harm, including the deployment of OC spray, the officers made a split-second decision and fired their service weapons, which ultimately ended the assault and mortally wounded the suspect.
The award plaque states, “Sergeant Barrios and Officer Corless were confronted with an exceptional situation involving life-threatening circumstances, during which these officers risked their lives and performed above and beyond the call of duty. Their brave and life-saving actions were within the finest traditions of police service.”
Mayor Nicholas Sacco, Police Chief Robert Dowd, and the Board of Commissioners offered their thanks and appreciation to the officers in a room filled with fellow officers, family, and friends.