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Sheriff deputies honored for serivce
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One year: Timothy D. Smith, Jayme B. Bauer, Ditoria T. Hammond, Jacob T. Rice, Hoyt L. Bradford Jr., Nikesha Q. Cooper, Michael T. Cunningham, Oscar Rogers, Larry J. Ashby, Christopher D. Roberts, Jennifred W. Price, Camille Haygood, George C. Cooper, Bill A. Cooper.

Five years: Justin C. Hipps, Charles R. Cook III, Latasha R. Williams, Charles L. Day, Anthony Washington, Jerry Carter, Ary S. Grijalva, Matthew A. Holbrook, Ellen E. Bales, Joseph K. Roper, Johnny C. Hightower Jr., Sherri E. Collier, Lee Smith, Richard Young III, Frederick C. Day, Octavis M. Campbell, Sammy W. Banks Sr., Sandra Mangham, Larry J. Harris, Jerry E. Taylor, David R. Bell, William E. Chesson II, Kenn J. Hagan, Gladys K. Kraudy.

10 years: Dora L. Brock, Sherry C. Dollar, Kevin G. Watkins, Kelly Singley, Richard F. Boyd, Michael S. Britt, Sherry P. Brown.

15 years: David M. Jones.

20 years: Thomas W. Kunz, William L. Kimbrell.

25 years: Kenneth J. Ridling Sr., Martin E. Roberts.

30 years: Douglas E. Kitchens.

35 years: Charles Morris Jones.

Medal of Honor: Darrell Odom, Wesley Atha, Christopher Jarrett Allen, Morris Jones.

Purple Heart: Tommy L. Thomason, Brad Verzinskie, Craig Treadwell, Dale Reed.

Meritorious Service: Timothy Dickerson, Terry Rogers, Christopher Jarrett Allen, Chad Hunt and Pete.

Sheriff's Commendation: Keith Crum, Jack Redlinger, Apryle Brown, Andrew Alexander, Dalleen Bradford, Sharron Stewart.

Humanitarian: Jacquetta E. McCoy.

Division Deputy of the Year: Charles R. Cook III, Richard Antonio Howard, Randy O. Downs Jr., Ronald Eugene Woodson, Brandon R. Esque.

Administrator of the year: C. Juanita Threadgill.

Deputy of the Year: Maurice C. Kennard.

Rookie of the Year: Jacob T. Rice.

Employee of the Year: Novell L. Ellis.

The Newton County Sheriff's Office recently held a ceremony honoring several deputies for their service to the county. Some of the recognition came from more recent events, while others commemorated events that happened decades ago.

Morris Jones & Craig Treadwell

It was so cold the morning of Feb. 8, 1982, that the puddles from the heavy rains the day before had iced over. All was calm in Newton County that morning, 30 years ago today, when now Captain Morris Jones stopped his patrol vehicle to check on a truck parked in a field off Ga. Highway 81 north in Dial Town.

Jones called out on the radio that he was checking out the vehicle where two men, 20-year-old David Wendell Burns and 26-year-old Dennis K. Gardner, were found sleeping. Now Captain Craig Treadwell, just 18-years-old and, was in Oxford at the time and decided to see if Jones needed assistance.

"Something just told me to go out there and help him," Treadwell said.

The plates came back stolen out of South Carolina. As Jones began taking down information, Gardner started towards him. Jones ordered him to back up. It was moments afterwards that Treadwell saw Burns begin to draw a .36 caliber cap and ball revolver from his waistband where it had been hidden under a thick goose-down vest. Treadwell reached for his gun as well, but Burns got there quicker.

"He said ‘hold it,'" Treadwell recalled. "I stopped and he pointed the gun over at Morris to, I guess, get his attention. As soon as he pointed it back at me, he shot."

That shot missed Treadwell, but as the brand new deputy, who had been employed with the NCSO only nine months and on the road only five days, jumped behind the truck, another shot fired by Burns struck him in the leg.

"I remember the words he said, but I can't tell you exactly what they were," laughed Jones. "...In no uncertain terms he let me know that he had a gun."

Treadwell made his way around to the hood area of the truck and just as he peeked over Burns shot at him again, followed by a fourth shot aimed at Jones, before his gun jammed and he throw it down, screaming "I give up!"

"It was less then 10 seconds, 15 at the most," said Jones. "People don't understand it unless you've been involved in it. It was surreal. In my mind I could see me doing what I was doing... I guess the adrenaline had just shut me down and I was concentrating on survival mode for us... all the training in the world, it's going to come right back down to surviving."

Both Treadwell and Jones say that cold February morning, exactly 30 years ago today, helped to shape how they operate as law enforcement officers - Jones still with the NCSO, Treadwell with the Covington Police Department - and how they view the world in general.

"I think it made me more wary, even of routine situations, because I saw how they could escalate. This was just a suspicious vehicle, and it all went downhill," said Jones. "I appreciate the recognition but I felt like I was just doing my job."

For Treadwell it taught him, there is no such thing as routine, no matter what you're doing.

"It's been a long time ago, but it really had a lot to do with shaping my career. I've had a really good career... I think it made me want to do it more. It taught me real quick that I needed to be careful and that's probably saved my life a half a dozen more times."

"I take nothing for granted," echoed Jones. "I prepare for the worst, hope for the best and prepare for the inevitable... You want to go home at night. Standing up. That's what it comes right down to."

For his service, Jones received the NCSO Medal of Honor and Treadwell the Purple Heart.

Dale Reed

It was a typical day in 1978 and now retired deputy Dale Reed was in the courtroom in the historic courthouse, keeping order and getting several prisoners put in the box and ready for court during a recess.

One man, an accused armed robber whose name escaped Reed, was sitting at the attorney's table. All of a sudden he jumped up and took off running for the door.
Reed asked a man who was in the courtroom, one he had seen around town a lot, to watch the other prisoners (none of whom were charged with serious crimes), and he took off running after the defendant.

"He was running down the stairs in the old courtroom, and as he ran down to the first floor, I jumped down from the second floor balcony. I grazed him and then I got up and chased him... I thought I'd broken my leg."

Potential jurors had just been released so there was a clog at both the front and back doors, preventing the escape artist from leaving the building, which made him a lot easier to catch.

Reed, who had been with the NCSO four years at the time and retired in 2006, said that he made do with what he had in an age without Tasers and multiple deputies in the courtroom.

"We had a lot of good deputies here then. We still do," he said. "I was blessed when I first started in law enforcement (with the DeKalb Police Department) that I had dedicated training officers that really gave me a good foundation of what a law enforcement officer should be. Here, I found people that had that same foundation. We became a family... we still are."