Officer Vrtochnick honored at awards luncheon

MILWAUKEE -- The Exchange Club of Milwaukee honored Milwaukee Police Officer Frank Vrtochnick at its 63rd annual Crime Prevention Awards Luncheon Tuesday.

Officer Vrtochnick was critically hurt by a hit-and-run driver while he was on duty on Christmas Day. Vrtochnick spent nearly a month in the hospital recovering from severe head and leg injuries.

On Tuesday, Vrtochnick received the Exchange Club's Blue and Gold Award. The award honors those wounded or killed in the line of duty. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Police Chief Ed Flynn presented Vrtochnick with the award.

"The extent of his injuries, then to see him there looking as good as he does, I mean that's one tough guy, very impressive," said Bill Hotz, former Exchange Club President.

Also recognized at the luncheon was Officer Jason Schneider. He received the Exchange Club award for outstanding professional contributions.

Schneider dislocated his shoulder while trying to arrest a suspect.

Award recipients say it means a lot that the community appreciates their hard work and dedication.

The Exchange Club of Milwaukee is one of the city's oldest service clubs.