Officers recognized for service with awards
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer
COUMBIANA – The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office held its second annual awards ceremony Sept. 6 to recognize sheriff’s employees receiving promotions and awards such as the medal of valor, meritorious service awards and lifesaving awards.
Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry said those recognized at the ceremony “do a magnificent job of protecting and serving the citizens in a variety of ways.”
He also thanked the families for their support.
“It means so much to see family members and coworkers to support everyone who is being acknowledged and recognized,” he said.
The following employees were recognized during the ceremony:
Medal of Valor
-Deputy David Morrow was awarded the medal of valor for his role in apprehending the gunman at Chelsea Middle School Feb. 12. Morrow, a school resource officer, arrived at the girls’ locker room where the gunman was holding the hostages and engaged him in conversation, which ultimately ended the standoff.
Meritorious Service Awards
-Sgt. Clay Hammac was awarded a meritorious service award for his work with the criminal investigations division from 2008-2010. In 2008 and 2009, Hammac worked with the Birmingham office of the U.S. Secret Service to create and equip a computer forensic lab that is maintained and exclusively staffed by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2010, he also conducted an investigation into the embezzlement of more than $125,000 and the compromise of network security at All State’s Birmingham regional office, which resulted in the apprehension, prosecution and indictment of the offender.
-Lt. Dennis Blackerby, Lt. Mike Dehart, Lt. Joseph McGee, Lt. Jeff SciaScia, Lt. Cody Sumners and Lt. Kevin Turner were each awarded a meritorious service award for effectively controlling costs during fiscal year 2012 after drastic cuts in funding.
-Corrections Officer Kristen Finney was awarded a meritorious service award for preventing the possible release of a murder suspect after the suspect gave a false identity upon being brought to the Shelby County Jail.
-Sgt. Clay Hammac received the lifesaving award for performing CPR on a north Shelby County resident who was discovered unresponsive after having a cardiac arrest. According to rescue personnel, the resident would have died had Hammock not arrived so quickly and performed CPR for a lengthy period of time.
-Mark Bishop was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
-Shelby O’Conner was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and Curry said she is the “first female sworn sergeant in the recent history” of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
-Jason Wilkins was promoted to the rank of Corrections Sergeant.
The following ministers of Shelby County were inducted into the Shelby County Law Enforcement Chaplain’s Association, a group of ordained ministers that volunteer to assist the Sheriff’s Office with providing death notifications and other services: George Brown, Willard Frederick, Greg Gann, Steven Heartsill, George Hollis, Danny Lovett, Bill Robertson, Justin Smith, John Trahan and Greg Tucker.
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