Officer Paul Czupryn, whose heroic acts on July 4th prevented a disaster for hundreds of holiday crowd-goers was awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest honor one can receive from the Porter County Sheriff’s Department.
Czupryn while on security duty near Valplayso Playground was able to successfully prevent a drunk driver from hitting a large crowd of people by forcibly reaching into the vehicle and steering the vehicle away from the crowd.
“Officer Czupryn is being recognized for an unselfish act of valor,” said Sheriff Dave Reynolds. “For this courageous act, we are presenting him with the highest form of honor in our department.”
Czupryn was also awarded and acknowledged by several other members of the Valparaiso community including US Senator Joe Donnelly who despite not being able to be there personally, was able to relay a message to Czupryn and his family.
“Hoosiers across the state of Indiana are proud of you,” said Donnelly. “As a husband and father, we are proud of you.”
Dan McGuire, Director of Special Projects & Event Operations of Valparaiso Parks was also there to say a few words on behalf of the Director of Parks and Recreation John Seibert.
“Officer Czupryn performed at the highest levels. He not only saved many lives but also prevented a young man from living a life full of regret.”
Along with his award from the Sheriff’s Department, Randall Eckley a representative of Indiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution awarded Czupryn their organization’s most distinguished awards for police officers from their organization.
“As someone who lives in Valparaiso and someone whose father was a police officer, we are extremely proud to award Officer Czupryn this distinguished award.”
Czupryn had the opportunity to speak about the event and while doing so, expressed his thanks to the community and his own heroes.
“There are heroes among us,” says Czupryn. “My brother has done more for law enforcement than I could ever do. Those are heroic acts. My mother who raised two boys while trying to make ends meet and my step father who worked a dangerous job to make sure we were all taken care of, those are heroic acts.”
Czupryn also commented on how all members of the community have helped to contributed to other heroic acts.
“There are heroic acts all around us, we just have to look and see them,” says Czupryn. “I just want to thank them for their acts.”
Since that fateful day, Czupryn still plans to continue serving his community and plans on continuing his duties to best serve the people of Porter County.
“The Porter County community is a phenomenal place to live, work and visit. This is where my kids go to school, this is where my wife and I go out to eat. I could have chosen to live anywhere I wanted, but I chose to live here because it’s a really, really good community that has so much to offer.”
Czupryn also commented on the importance on his job and others like him are to the community and how it is important that he continues his duty.
“There are some truly evil people in this world, and it’s our job to make sure they do not harm anyone,” says Czupryn. “Nothing has changed, tomorrow I’m going to go back to work. I’m actually excited to go back to work.”