Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy receives Medal of Valor

By GINNY COOPER / Staff Writer

CHELSEA—When Ryan Matthew Sims held five frightened Chelsea Middle School girls at gunpoint in Feb. 2013, Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy David Morrow and Principal William Harper calmly and quickly responded to the situation, and spent 20 minutes successfully convincing Sims to release the girls and surrender.

During a surprise pep rally at the middle school March 14, students, law enforcement and government officials all gathered to honor Morrow, who received the prestigious Medal of Valor from the National Sheriffs’ Association for his actions during the event.

“It’s a surprise, we tried to prevent him from finding out,” Sheriff Chris Curry stated before the pep rally. “This is a great, prestigious award for his actions at Chelsea Middle.”

Each year, a little over 20 people are presented with the Medal of Valor nationwide for “an act of outstanding personal bravery, intelligently performed, in the line of duty at imminent personal hazard of life,” according to the National Sheriffs’ Association website.

When Morrow was called to the front, the crowd exploded with loud cheers and whistles.

“I love you Officer Morrow. You’re my hero,” one boy shouted from the bleachers.

“This is a very, very big shock, but it’s a great honor,” Morrow stated after receiving the award. “I wouldn’t want to relive last year, but I’m thankful that you guys, the staff and students, were prepared enough to know what to do in a time of crisis. I appreciate you very much.”