2020 Public Safety Awards recipients recognized

Published 12:41 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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Numerous law enforcement officers and firefighters in Shelby County were honored for their exemplary service during The Shelby County Chamber’s 2020 Public Safety Awards program held virtually on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 30.

The recipients of this year’s awards represented departments and agencies in Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Harpersville, Helena, Hoover, Montevallo and Pelham.

“All of us who live here in Shelby County appreciate the outstanding quality of life we’re fortunate to have,” Chamber President and CEO Kirk Mancer wrote in a press release. “A significant aspect of that quality of life is the safe environment which is created by the outstanding men and women who serve in law enforcement and as firefighters. In hosting these 2020 Safety Awards—and recognizing the 2020 recipients from each department—we also want to acknowledge the tremendous teamwork that goes into a successful public safety department.”

Recipients of the 2020 Public Safety Awards include:

  • Officer James Watkins, Alabaster Police Department.
  • Officer Adam Booth, Dispatcher Katie Cain, Officer Jesse Deerman and Dispatcher Heather Portera, Calera Police Department.
  • Officer Kevin Perry, Columbiana Police Department.
  • Officer Michael Prather, Helena Police Department.
  • Officer Scott Shirley, Hoover Police Department.
  • Investigator Dustin Gray, Montevallo Police Department.
  • Officer Lee Tibbetts, Pelham Police Department.
  • Investigator Rufus Williams, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Battalion Chief David Lash, Alabaster Fire Department.
  • Capt. Stephen Gunnels, Cahaba Valley Fire and EMR District.
  • Lt. Chris Wood, Calera Fire Department.
  • Remembering Fire Chief Wayne Shirley, Chelsea Fire and Rescue.
  • Chief Heath Confer, Harpersville Fire Department.
  • Capt. Brian Ryder, Helena Fire Department.
  • Lt. Eric O’Neal, Hoover Fire Department.
  • Lt. Matt Maples, Pelham Fire Department.

Award nominees were submitted by their respective departments with individual profiles that included information about their professional experience, accomplishments and community impact.

Under normal circumstances, award recipients are honored at an in-person luncheon before an audience of their colleagues and guests, but COVID-19 necessitated a virtual format this year.

“We reached out to all of the public safety departments throughout Shelby County to encourage them to join us for this event so we could recognize the work which they do in helping to make Shelby County one of the safest in the state of Alabama,” wrote Pari Barzegari, the Chamber’s director of community and career development.

The program was sponsored by Southwest Water Company and co-sponsored by The UPS Store and Caldwell Mill and Turner Promotions.