Sheriff’s staffers earn awards, promotions

Published 7:47 pm Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Myrick smiles out before receiving his Medal of Valor during an awards ceremony on Aug. 23 in Columbiana. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)


COLUMBIANA — On March 30, Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Myrick, while assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force, was part of a team working to apprehend a man wanted for attempted murder of a police officer, as well as other charges.

The suspect was located driving near Calera on Interstate 65 and Myrick and members of the task force worked to stop the suspect by effectively causing a crash.

The suspect, in a vehicle still able to operate, attempted to use that vehicle as a weapon and run down the marshals.

Myrick used deadly force to stop the suspect, control the situation and likely save the life of officers.

On Thursday night, Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry pinned on Myrick the Medal of Valor.

Myrick was among 19 Shelby County Sheriff’s Office personnel who were either promoted or presented awards at what Curry said will become an annual ceremony to honor the good works of those serving in his department.

“We are blessed with the quality of the people at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office,” Curry said. “I don’t consider law enforcement as a job. It’s a calling, answered in so many ways by you every day to make a difference in the lives of our citizens.

“These are the cream of the crop. They had to earn their place and they have to work every day to keep it,” he said.

Also receiving awards Thursday night:

• Sgt. Tim Billingsley received the Medal of Valor for apprehending an armed and dangerous suspect involved in a home invasion.

• Deputy Chris Street was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained when assaulted by an inmate at the Shelby County Jail. The inmate was sentenced to 10 years for assault on a police officer.

• Corrections Sgt. Allen Thompson received the Lifesaving Award for saving the life of an inmate, who used the drawstring from the waistband of the clothes she was wearing upon arrest to try to commit suicide. Thompson cut the string from the inmate’s neck, freeing her airway and thwarting a suicide.

• Deputy Chris Blevins received the Medal of Valor for attempting to save the life of a suspect who fled into Lay Lake to avoid arrest.

• Deputy Marty Bailey received the Lifesaving Award for his actions to give aid to a man who had suffered a heart attack.

• Sgt. Mike Hudson received the Medal of Valor for rescuing a woman, who was trapped in a vehicle that had been in an accident, landed down a 12- to 15-foot embankment and caught fire.

• Deputy John Carr received the Medal of Valor for apprehending a suspect who had raped a suspect and held her at gunpoint when Carr arrived at the suspect’s home.

• Then-Deputy David Black, who has since been promoted to sergeant, received the Lifesaving Award for rescuing a woman and apprehending the suspect who had raped her. Black, answering a 9-1-1 hang up call, broke into the trailer, where he found the suspect, restrained him, and found the victim hiding in a closet. It was later determined that the suspect, who broke into the woman’s trailer, intended to kill the woman in order to cover up the rape and numbers more, the sheriff’s citation read.

• Deputy Derek Dixon received the Lifesaving Award for performing CPR and saving a four-year-old boy, who was found at the bottom of a pool during a family reunion in Winnsboro, La.

• Deputy Kevin Hand received the Medal of Honor for saving a man from a fire in the Montevallo community.

• Deputies Michael Greene and Lee Stockman received the Medal of Valor for entering a burning home in the Westover community and attempting to save an elderly woman they found face down and unconscious. Though the victim did not survive, the deputies disregarded their personal safety in an effort to save a citizen.

• Deputy David Perry received the Lifesaving Award for administering CPR and likely saving the life of a Wilsonville resident.

• Deputy Ryan Shivers was awarded the Lifesaving Award for saving the life of an eight-month-old child who was choking and had stopped breathing in Chelsea.

Receiving promotions Thursday night were:

• Lt. Joseph McGee.

• Sgt. David Black.

• Corrections Lt. Leslie Hood.

• Corrections Lt. Jeff Hughes.

• Corrections Sgt. Tim Laatsch.

• Corrections Sgt. Tony Pavolini.