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John H. Cherry
Chesapeake Police Department
Killed in the Line of Duty – September 27, 1982
|Medal of Honor||Chesapeake Police Sgt's Badge|
Prior to becoming a police officer, John Henry Cherry was a technician for the city of Norfolk.
John Cherry was appointed to the Chesapeake Police Department on September 16, 1971. He was a member of the first session of the Chesapeake Public Safety Academy. Sergeant Cherry was a native of Washington D. C. before moving to Norfolk, Virginia and attended Norview High School, graduating in 1958.
After serving in the Uniform Patrol Bureau, Officer Cherry was transferred to Criminal Investigations as a detective. He handled assignments in both the Criminal Investigations Unit and the Vice and Narcotics Unit. In these capacities John Cherry distinguished himself as a devoted and persistent officer and investigator.
On May 1, 1980, Detective Cherry was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He was assigned to the newly created Power Shift of the Uniform Patrol Bureau.
It was in this capacity that on the night of September 27, 1982, Sergeant Cherry responded with several other officers to the Holly Cove subdivision to answer a domestic call regarding a mentally disturbed woman. The woman allegedly had threatened several members of her family.
Upon arrival at her home, Sergeant Cherry evaluated the situation and directed several officers to the front of the residence while he and another officer went to the rear. As the woman was confronted by the police officers, she produced a large kitchen knife and displayed it in an aggressive manner. As the officers approached from the front, Sergeant Cherry slowly approached from the rear in order to disarm the woman without the use of greater force and to avoid serious injury to the troubled woman. It was at this moment that the woman, without warning, suddenly turned and stabbed Sergeant Cherry beneath his right shoulder. The officers moved quickly to subdue the woman and call for medical assistance for Sergeant Cherry.
He was flown to Norfolk General Hospital by air ambulance. They were unable to save Sergeant Cherry, who died at 10:30 p.m. He was 43 years old.
Sergeant Cherry received several commendations throughout his career including 1982's "Outstanding Policeman of the Year" award by the Great Bridge Jaycees which was the result of a vote taken from his fellow officers.
Sergeant John Henry Cherry was killed in the line of duty September 27, 1982, while in the performance of his fundamental duties of serving mankind, safeguarding lives and property.