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Feds honor Cambridge officer for protecting Vietnamese official

Posted by Brock Parker  March 14, 2012 04:41 PM

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Officer Stephen Lyons (middle, holding plaque) along with Commissioner Robert C. Haas (to Lyons’ left) and members of the Cambridge Police Traffic Enforcement Unit. Photo courtesy Cambridge Police.

A Cambridge Police officer was honored Wednesday for actions he took to protect the deputy prime minister of Vietnam during a visit to the city in February.

The Federal Bureau of Diplomatic Security honored Cambridge Police Officer Stephen Lyons for acting quickly when a group of unruly individuals approached a limousine carrying Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh on Feb. 15.

That evening, Lyons had been on a motorcycle as part of a motorcade protecting Ninh and two cabinet ministers in the Harvard Square area when the group of males approached the limousine in a threatening manner.

Cambridge Police said Lyons interceded by confronting the group and moved them out of the way. He then determined they posed no direct threat and continued on in the motorcade, said Cambridge Police spokesman Dan Riviello. No arrests were made.

In a ceremony at the Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Federal Building Wednesday morning, Lyons was presented a plaque in honor of his actions by Scott P. Bultrowicz, the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of State.

In a press release Wednesday, Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas said Lyon’s award highlights police department's close relationship with federal partners.

“This is crucial to providing the service and protection necessary for the many dignitaries who visit Cambridge,” Haas said.

During his visit to Cambridge, Ninh had participated in the Vietnam Executive Leadership Program 2012 at Harvard’s Kennedy School, according to the website for the Vietnamese embassy in the United States.

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