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Johnson City Police Officer Louis Cioci earns New York State Police Officer of Year Award

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In the face of tragedy, one Johnson City police officer's quick thinking prevented a greater disaster. Today, he was honored as New York's officer of the year. But for Louis Cioci, the memory of a comrade lost that day is fresh in his mind.

"He did not want to be a hero, but he is a hero," said NY Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

"To me, it was just a job that day and then afterwards it turned into something more," said Johnson City Police Officer Cioci.

At 7 am on March 31, 2014, Johnson City Police Officer Louis Cioci was the second responder to a call at Wilson Memorial Hospital. As he pulled up to the scene, he found his friend and fellow officer David Smith shot in the head. Cioci then got people to cover and fired six shots to the down gunman James Clark.

"It's for DW's family too. In my mind, he's the priority in this whole incident," said Officer Louis Cioci.

"In the face of guns being shot, surrounded by gun fire, bullets coming at you. And his first sense is not his own safety, its the safety of the bystanders but at the end of the day, he did what he had to do," said Hochul.

"Their job is to wake up every morning, walk into the lions den and shut the door behind them. I am very thankful that he came out that day," said KristIn Cioci, Officer Cioci's wife.

Cioci is the first Johnson City Police Officer to receive the state officer of the year award. Smith had been nominated in 2002 for saving a 4 year old from a burning apartment. Smith's wife was among those seeing Cioci receive his ward today.

"She gave me a hug and told me she is proud and that she is happy she's very thankful that I was there that day and I explained to her that I'm sorry things turned out the way they did, said Officer Cioci.

"After that day, all of us learned that Monday's are a gift. A lot of people went to have dinner on Monday because he was there that day," said Kristin Cioci.

Since the award's inception, 108 officer from 17 agencies across the state have received the honor.