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Rochester Police Officer Denny Wright receives state honor for heroism

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Max Schulte/WXXI News
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A Rochester Police Officer is receiving a top statewide honor for heroism.

On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that Officer Denny Wright is the recipient of the Governor’s Police Officer of the Year Award.

Hochul announced the award for Wright and also said that a Suffolk County Police Officer, Christopher Zonin,  is getting the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services’ Lifesaving Award.

It was announced on the first day of National Police Weeek which is being marked in Washington, D.C. this year with a series of events through Sunday, October 17.

Wright was responding to a call on Peck Street in October 2019 about family trouble. While he responded to the call, he was stabbed multiple times and was left blinded by the attack.

Hochul says despite severe injuries and impaired vision, Wright persisted and kept others around him safe.

Rochester Interim Police Chief David Smith says that he is “humbled by Officer Wright’s actions, which demonstrated incredible determination and bravery in the face of mortal danger.”

Wright was honored by the RPD in August, when he received the department’s Medal of Valor and Purple Heart.

The Long Island officer, Christopher Zonin, who is also a volunteer firefighter, was honored for braving thick smoke and heat to help several residents escape their burning residence in Centereach in December 2019.

Here is video by WXXI News photojournalist Max Schulte of Wright as he walked out of Golisano Neurology Rehabilitation Center at Unity Hospital in Greece in October 2019.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn9N_d7BokI

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.