Springfield Police Officer Receives Medal of Valor

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SPRINGFIELD – A Springfield Police Officer has received a very special honor.

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police presented Officer Bryan Henson with the Medal of Valor for heroism and courage the September 8 City Council Meeting.

Henson received the honor for his response to a 911 hang-up call on February 21, 2014, that ended with him locating a sexual assault victim and arresting Antonio Florence, a habitual offender.

According a news release, upon arrival, the victim informed Officer Henson that Florence was armed with a handgun and had just sexually assaulted her.  As Officer Henson attempted to gain control of Florence, he brandished what appeared to be a handgun resulting in a physical struggle.  During the struggle, Florence struck Officer Henson several times on the head and face while attempting to disarm him.  The two ended up on the ground with Florence on top straddling Officer Henson, where he continued to batter and attempted to disarm Officer Henson.  Ultimately, Officer Henson was able retrieve his service weapon and fire one round into Florence’s leg and then restrain him until assisting officers arrived. 

Florence was later sentenced to 72 years in prison.

Officer Henson has been with the department for eight years.

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