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Chula Vista Police Department
Thursday June 15th, 2017 :: 02:31 p.m. PDT


Wounded Warrior-Purple Heart Award Winner becomes a Chula Vista Police Officer

Christopher Lawrence, USMC Sergeant-Retired (2005-2010), is among the newest members of the Chula Vista Police Department. Christopher will graduate from the Southwestern College Police Academy on Saturday, June 17, 2017 and will be sworn in as one of two new police officers for the City of Chula Vista on Friday, June 23rd.

Christopher, who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007-2008, was honorably retired in 2010. In a 2007 IED explosion in Iraq, Christopher suffered life-threating injuries badly damaging both legs and his left arm. He remained on active duty at Wounded Warrior Battalion-West, Naval Medical Center, San Diego (NMCSD-Balboa Hospital). After dozens of surgeries he was told that he would never walk unassisted again or have normal use of his arm. However, Christopher never stopped working to rehabilitate himself. Others said that his attitude and energy “were an inextinguishable light” that everyone could see the moment they met him. In 2008 he made the brave but grueling decision to remove his badly damaged leg to allow for a prosthetic replacement. Just three months later a fellow Marine veteran, Nico Marcolongo, while working for disable vets, asked him to ride a bicycle from San Francisco to San Diego to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). Christopher completed that ride and hasn’t stopped inspiring others since. He continued his work with CAF’s Operation Rebound competing and mentoring others in boxing.

Christopher, a foster child who grew up in Milwaukee, has always dreamed of being a police officer. After his life-threatening injury, he was told that dream would never happen. Yet again, and despite the odds, Christopher never gave up. At a recent CAF/Operation Rebound event to honor his achievements, Christopher told attendees that after he competed in his first boxing event “and knocked the guy out”, he knew he could do anything he wanted.

Despite a few initial disappointments in the application process at police agencies, Christopher decided to enroll himself in the Southwestern Police Academy to prove to prospective agencies that he could physically do the job. The word of Christopher’s courage, physical ability, and personal character spread and soon multiple agencies were competing to hire him.

Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy said of Christopher, “I have never met a more abled-body person in my life. The power of his attitude and character, and the strength in his heart easily overcome the physical challenges. His life and the challenges he has overcome are an inspiration to others” The Chief is particularly proud that Christopher chose Chula Vista Police Department to make his career. “I couldn’t be more proud to have Christopher become part of the Chula Vista Police Department family”, said Chief Kennedy.

Christopher will enter field training immediately. As with all new officers, he must complete field training before working independently as a police officer.

In addition to the Purple Heart, Chris has received the following Military Awards:
• The Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
• Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
• Combat Action Ribbon (Iraq)
• Iraq Campaign Medal with 1 campaign star
• Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
• National Defense Service Medal

Chula Vista Police Department
315 4th Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 619-691-5151

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