After a year when law enforcement was often in the news in a negative light nationally, Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputies were resuscitating children back to life, jumping on guns to save themselves, victims and bystanders and performing other feats of heroism in 2014.
Those actions and a number of NCSO deputies, officers and employees were honored Friday during the office’s 6th Annual Awards Ceremony.
When Corporal Joseph Lightsey was called to Spring Valley Chase on Sept. 1 for a drowning child case, the child lay unresponsive, not breathing without a pulse. Lightsey then performed CPR and the child regained consciousness but had a weak pulse. The child was life-flighted and made a full recovery.
That save earned Lightsey the Life Saver Award, presented Friday by NCSO Sheriff Ezel Brown, Chief Deputy Jerry Carter and guest speaker, Jeffrey Turner of Clayton County.
On Dec. 23 Corporal Justin Howell was working the jail when he observed an inmate hanging from the water pipe attempting suicide. The pipe was breaking and water was beginning to flow onto the prison floor. According to Lt. Paul Gunter, “the deputy, without waiting for a ladder, climbed to the pipe and grabbed the individual and turned him on to the deck.”
Howell’s actions earned him the Meritorious Service Award.
Another situation where someone endangered themselves and others that was kept form being tragic by an NCSO deputy occurred when NCSO received a call about someone with a gun, ammunition and pills loose in Newton County on April 20.
Corporal Kenneth Kent arrived on the scene and learned that the suspect, a woman sitting on the couch leaning on a pillow, had taken a large number of pills the evening before. The woman then pulled a gun out from behind the pillow.
Gunter told the crowd gathered in the Newton County Judicial Center that Kent jumped on the pillow and grabbed the gun.
Those were just three of the deputies honored, here are the awards presented:
• Life Saver Award – Cpl. Joseph Lightsey
• Deputy of the Year – Cpl. Joseph Lightsey
• Meritorious Service – Cpl. Justin Howell
• Medal of Honor – Cpl. Kenneth Kent
• Rookie of the Year – Detention Officer Travis Stubbs
• Employee of the Year – Detention Officer James Walden
Division Deputy of the Year Awards:
• Criminal Investigation Division – Cpl. Jocelyn Detweiler
• Special Investigations Unit – Deputy Brent Morrison
• Court Services – Deputy Darrell Anders
• Patrol – Deputy Steve Walden
• Detention – Lt. Selena Williams
Deputies were also honored for one, five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service. Jeffrey Alexander and Byron Mobley were the only two NCSO members with 25 years.