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Covington's Richardson, Shot in City Heights, is State FOP's Officer of the Year

A Covington Police officer wounded in the line of duty is the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police's Officer of the Year.

Specialist Mark Richardson won the honor this weekend at the union's spring board meeting in Madisonville.

"The nomination we chose to recognize for 2013 came to us describing this officer’s commitment to his duty during events which took place in Covington on September 28, 2012 when on this date local officers were dispatched to an armed robbery in City Heights," said FOP Associate President Denna Reekers. "The suspect had forced his way into a residence and robbed the victims at gunpoint. Officer’s at the scene received information on the suspect’s whereabouts and surrounded the building."
"One of these Officers was Specialist Mark Richardson , a 12 year veteran of the Covington Police Department and his K9 partner Cohen."
Richardson, 44, suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was shot by Pharo Wilson who would flee the scene before eventually being captured in Cincinnati.
Wilson was convicted on three counts of attempted murder of a police officer in January and the jury recommended sixty years in prison.
"The suspect spotted Specialist Richardson, leaned out the window and fired on the officers," Reekers said. "Specialist Richardson was struck in the foot and then returned fire. The suspect then fled on foot, where Specialist Richardson & Cohen continued to pursue the suspect into a wooded area. 
"Specialist Richardson continued pursuit until he was ordered by his supervisor to cease his pursuit and receive medical treatment as his safety and well-being were ultimately the priority.
"Specialist Richardson’s dedication to the wellbeing and safety of his brothers and sisters of law enforcement is not limited to this one night. His participation in FOP functions that benefit individuals as well as lodge business has spanned the last eighteen years."
Richardson thanked the Northern Kentucky Community and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement for coming to his aid and assisting himself and the Covington Police Department during and after this event.

Richardson and his fellow officers involved in the shooting were previously honored by the Covington City Commission in January 2012.

Staff report

Photo: Covington Police Chief Spike Jones (Left), Specialist Mark Richardson (center), and FOP President Berl Purdue (right)