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Former officer receives national award

Dec. 05, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND -- City Commissioner and former police officer Kevin Gunderson became the first person in Kentucky to receive the Theodore Roosevelt Association Police Award Tuesday in Ashland.

Gunderson, 56, was shot in the line of duty more than 32 years ago. The injury left him confined to a wheelchair. He subsequently has been elected a dozen times to serve as a member of the Ashland Board of City Commissioners.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway presented the award to Gunderson in the commission chambers on the 3rd floor of the Ashland City Building. He also presented him with a $500 cash reward that came with the award, which has been presented to more than 150 people since 1983. The award is presented to police officers nationwide who have overcome a major physical challenge or handicap.

"I am very proud to be the only Kentuckian to ever receive this award," Gunderson said Tuesday. A number of former Ashland police officers and colleagues were on hand for the award ceremony, including former Capt. Earl Borders and former Chief Ron McBride, who nominated Gunderson.

"I was extremely flattered," he said.

Gunderson is giving the $500 to the Putnam Stadium restoration fund. "The stadium has touched everyone's life at one point or another."

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