County safety takes major work

Published 11:10 am Thursday, November 7, 2013

During the recent Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Safety Awards presentation, we saw plenty of examples of just how our public servants impact the quality of life in this county.

Calera Police Department Officers of the Year Christopher Blake Atkins and Greg Gremillion helped to bust several methamphetamine labs over the past year, making progress toward fighting a war on a drug that has ripped apart lives and families across Shelby County.

Chelsea Citizens Observer Patrol Officer of the Year John Denveys helped defuse what could have been a dangerous situation when he called in information leading to the arrest of a man who allegedly stole a bulldozer and allegedly had a loaded shotgun and a cooler of beer nearby.

Helena Police Officer of the Year Jeff Murphy likely saved lives by pulling over a suspected drunk driver at about 7 a.m. on a weekday. Murphy later allegedly discovered that the driver was intoxicated and was on her way to drive a school bus.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year Clay Hammac is heading up the county’s Project Lifesaver program, in which deputies work with families of individuals who have autism, Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome and dementia to ensure those individuals could be found if they ever get lost.

Those are just a few examples of heroic acts detailed at the Safety Awards. Each of the officers and firefighters honored has likely saved or directly impacted many lives. We also can’t forget all the other officers and firefighters across the county who don’t always get recognition for their selfless acts.

Sometimes, the mere presence of a police officer or firefighter is enough to diffuse a dangerous situation before it even starts, leading to lives being saved even if the danger never presents itself.

Without its public servants, Shelby County would not be the dynamic county or the wonderful place to live that it is today. We thank everyone who gives of themselves to make this county as safe as possible.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.