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  BEST FRIENDS REUNITED  
  May 16, 2019 Edition  
     Former Houston police officer Richard Kamperman, at left, and his former partner of six years, Ron Cortez, at right, were reunited this week in Washington, D.C. as part of National Police Week observances. On Feb. 28, 2017, Kamperman, a 1996 graduate of Boardman High School, and Cortez were checking a southwest Houston neighborhood for a burglary suspect. Nearing the end of their sweep through the neighborhood, they were checking a shed when shots broke out and Cortez, who has a wife and four children, was struck four times at close range, leaving him paralyzed. Kamperman escaped injury. The National Police Week observances honors policemen killed in the line of duty, and candlelight ceremonies held on Monday attracted upwards of 40,000 people. Last year, 228 officers died in the line of duty. According to the FBI, more than 50,000 police officers last year were assaulted while on duty. Shortly after his partner was shot, Kamperman retired from the HPD and returned to the Mahoning Valley to work in his family-owned business, Compco Industries, that annually creates art work memorializing each fallen officer. Over the past decade, more than 2000 plaques have been presented to families of fallen officers. Pictured, ‘Kamp’ and Cortez tour Arlington National Cemetery. Recalling the events of Feb. 28, 2017, Cortez’s wife, Sheri, said of Kamperman, “No greater love than a man who would lay down his life for his brother. I am blessed to know this hero, who ran into danger to save his brothers, family and community. He will never say these words, he doesn’t think he is a hero, but I know better.”
 
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