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Alumnus to receive ‘Medal of Valor’

Sgt. Chris Gomez, a former Cal State Long Beach student and current member of the Los Angeles Police Department, will receive the Medal of Valor for saving a life while on duty.

On May 28 at the Kodak Theater while many CSULB students will be receiving degrees, Gomez will be receiving the highest honor in the department, in which roughly 500 people have been given the award before.

According to the LAPD website, since 1925, the Medal of Valor Award has been given to the men and women of the LAPD who have distinguished themselves by acts of heroism and bravery above and beyond the normal demands of police service.

According to Gomez, in 2007 an accident occurred on Interstate 110 when the driver of a vehicle trying to evade police was speeding, lost control and crashed along the center divider.

Immediately, the engine area went up in flames and quickly reached the driver. Gomez said he rushed to the scene, but couldn’t get the driver out of the driver’s side because of the damage to the car, so he broke the side window and managed to pull the driver to safety.

As a result of his actions, the driver only suffered a broken collarbone.

“To be mentioned with those previous winners of the medal, it makes you feel humbled and honored, and it solidifies your career and makes you feel that you are on the right path, and there are those that recognize that and appreciate it,” Gomez said.

He said the award “not only motivates the individual, but it also motivates others. They see you getting an award and they are motivated by it.”

Gomez attended CSULB from 1988 to 1990 before transferring to Long Beach City College, where he went on to earn an associate degree in the school’s electrical program.

Gomez said his oldest daughter, Amanda Gomez, is currently attending CSULB this year.

 

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