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Our thoughts... NCSO honors heroes
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   Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown should be applauded for beginning a new law enforcement tradition. Brown has instituted a Purple Heart honor for deputies injured in the line of duty and a Lifesaving Award for those who go above and beyond the call of duty during life-threatening situations.
 Deputies James Trent and Wesley Atha were the first to receive NCSO Purple Hearts for gunshot wounds they sustained on a suicide call in August. While we wish that no more deputies are hurt while protecting us, we know that the job is often dangerous. We are glad that those injured and their families will be formally thanked for the sacrifices they make, especially involving their health.
 The first recipient of the Lifesaving Award was Sgt. Tommy Thomason, who was the first on the scene to a toddler choking call and saved the child by removing a barrette from her throat.
 It's wonderful that we have so many brave men and women who put themselves in harm's way to protect us and who are expertly trained in mediation and emergency rescue. We are proud of all of them and hope they continue to keep up the good work.