KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- KCKPD handed out awards to officers for their bravery and unsung heroism in front of the Unified Government Thursday.
Sixteen officers who came under fire from a man at the Hilton Garden Inn last year were given awards for meritorious service. So were the U.S. Marshals who captured Emenencio Lansdown.
Detective Stuart Littlefield said it was well worth the wait for his award at the end of the ceremony. He was one of first-ever Lancaster/Melton Award of Merit winners.
The award is named for fallen officers Detective Brad Lancaster and Captain Dave Melton, both killed in line of duty in 2016.
“Brad and I were partners up until he got killed, he got up and went to lunch and I never saw him again," Detective Littlefield said.
Detective Lancaster wound up encountering a suspicious man police were looking for near Hollywood Casino.
“Detectives don’t do heroic things we fight for our victims and hopefully at the end of the day we put bad guys in jail," remarked on the unusual circumstances of Lancaster being first on the scene that day, and why he himself normally wouldn't be honored at a ceremony usually reserved for the most courageous and brave officers.
But he was given one of the first ever Lancaster/Melton Awards for his work behind the scenes.
“Detective Lancaster and Captain Melton both did a lot of great police work some of it went unnoticed," Kansas City Kansas Police Chief Terry Ziegler said.
Littlefield tracked down Abalberto Mata-Beras, the suspected Woodview Ridge Apartment rapist, wanted for raping six women by climbing onto their balconies.
“He attacked another woman while we were looking for him and I just wouldn’t give up, and through the hard work of other people, not just me, we caught him back in April," Detective Littlefield said.
Though he’s proud of his work on that case, he’s most proud of the successful prosecution of the killers of seven year old Adrian Jones. It’s the horrific case of a child abused by his dad and stepmother he had to finish. He worked on it with Lancaster up until his death.
“Brad’s picture is on the wall and Adrian’s picture is on my desk and I see them every single day I have promised myself whatever I do in my career and in my life, I will never forget Brad and the dedication he showed and I will never forget Adrian and the sacrifice that he made," he said.