Local public servants received top honors for bravery and much-deserved praise at the 2018 Valor Awards on Wednesday, March 21, held at the Infinite Energy Forum. The event, hosted by Gwinnett Chamber and presented by Mobile Communications of Gwinnett, Inc. and Motorola Solutions, Inc., honored the men and women who have performed heroic and extraordinary acts to protect and serve the citizens of Gwinnett.
Top honors included:
• Gwinnett County Police Department’s PO Sr. Nelson Mickle, MPO Jason Robertson and Sergeant J.D. Griffin were awarded the highest honor, the Medal of Valor, Gold. The team responded to a suspicious person call in the City of Buford, which turned out to be an armed and wanted felon. The pursuit of this armed gunman covered over fifteen miles and all these officers heroically removed this violent and dangerous felon from our streets.
• Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ Firefighter/EMT Daniel Moore received the Medal of Valor, Silver, for his response to a serious accident on the street behind his house in which he took over the scene and put bystanders to work.
• PO Sr. Shaun Regains, Corporal Albert Childrey, Lieutenant Stephen Land, Sergeant Kristi Llewellyn, with the Gwinnett County Police Department, were awarded the Medal of Valor, Bronze, for their response to a suicide attempt. Their collective years of experience, training, and knowledge, led to a life being saved without force being used, which is extremely rare.
The following public safety professionals were honored in the program’s subsequent award categories:
• Lilburn Police Department’s Senior Patrol Officer Andy Blimline and Investigator Cody Belcher received the Lifesaving Award for their quick-thinking and lifesaving actions to save a person hit by a train.
• Public Safety Communications Officer of the Year was presented to Gwinnett County Communications/E911’s COII Kim Windham for instructing a caller to perform CPR on someone who had overdosed on heroin.
• Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office’s Rapid Response Team was awarded the Unit of the Year award for providing safety and security for the Gwinnett County Jail, as well as offering search and rescue to the citizens and agencies of Georgia.
• Master Corrections Officer Jerry White, with Gwinnett County Department of Corrections, was awarded the Public Safety Person of the Year award for promoting community safety by providing a safe and secure environment that encourages positive change and providing quality services that make a difference.
• Chief Mike Jones, with the Suwanee Police Department, took the Leadership award for excelling in community-oriented engagement and activities
In the 13 years the Gwinnett Chamber has hosted the Valor Awards, this is only the second time the purple heart was presented. The Purple Heart is presented to any public safety professional who has been critically injured or killed in the line of duty while performing their responsibilities at the scene of an emergency incident.
• Gwinnett County Police Department’s Police Pilot George A. McLain and Police Pilot Michael Duncan responded to a call via the Gwinnett County Police helicopter and assisted ground units in searching for a wanted person fleeing from officers. After the weather took a turn for the worst, the pilots attempted to land, but the helicopter crashed and both pilots sustained broken backs.
“Mobile Communications of Gwinnett is a proud supporter of the Valor Awards because of the recognition this program gives to men and women who, without hesitation, put their lives on the line for us, our homes and our businesses,” said Cathy Nichols, Chief Business Development Officer, Mobile Communications of Gwinnett. “The Valor Awards program provides the community the opportunity to thank our public safety professionals for their ultimate sacrifice allowing us to live the wonderful life that we have in Gwinnett County.”
For more information on the Valor Awards, click here.