Because sometimes I just need to brag on my husband!
It’s true this man I married in 2004 has molded himself to become a great Christian man, husband and helper to me and father to Evan and Baby Girl. But for the sake of this post, he is also something else. He is a fearless HERO in every sense of the word. Although he would never call himself one and would shy away from ever having his name and that word in the same sentence. Awards and accolades are nothing new for Lovebug’s law enforcement career, having been recognized numerous times for his tough and aggressive police work. Just like in 2010, when he was awarded the Knight’s of Columbus “Deputy of the Year” award for fighting with a man armed with a .45 caliber pistol. While fighting on the ground over the gun, the man pulled the trigger in an attempt to kill Lovebug and other deputies around. Lovebug was able to force the gun to be fired into the ground, saving the lives of deputies and innocent people around the scene. Fast-forward to last July. I’ve written about this particular incident before where Lovebug broke his hand. For the K-9 team’s heroic actions that day, they recently received two awards for a job well done. The K-9 team was recognized publicly by the Knights of Columbus and by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office. The Summerville Journal Scene recently published two articles describing both recent awards.
Food, fellowship, and some well-earned and much deserved recognition highlighted the annual Knights of Columbus 25th Annual Patrick J. O’Brien Social, held Feb. 28 in the Knights of Columbus lodge in Summerville.
The Summerville Knights of Columbus Council 6629 has hosted this event for the Summerville and Dorchester County public safety forces and their families for the last 23 years. The Knights host a banquet for police officers, deputies, firefighters, EMS, and dispatchers and their families and present plaques to the police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, sheriff’s deputies, and EMS personnel whom their chiefs, department heads, and peers select for outstanding service during the year.
Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 737 were on hand to help serve and assist the attendees.
Scott Flick, KOC president, who served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, welcomed everyone to the gathering and thanked the guests for the jobs they do.
“What we fail to realize, so often, is just how important your role is to our daily lives,” Flick noted. “Yet we are confident that the police officer, or firefighter, or EMT will be there to help out every time. We are here to honor you for your dedication and your sacrifice.”
Summerville Mayor Bill Collins also had high praise for the first responders.
“Let me say what a pleasure it is to be here tonight as your guest,” he said. “This means a lot – that they do this for us makes our city such a wonderful place to live, and I thank you all.”
The Knights presented six plaques: Summerville Police Officer of the Year and Dispatcher of the Year, Summerville Firefighter of the Year, Old Fort Firefighter of the Year, Dorchester County Dispatcher of the Year, and EMS Worker of the Year.
Captain Michael Donoghue of the Summerville Police Department announced PFC John Graves as SPD’s officer of the year and Chrystal Poczekaj as SPD’s dispatcher of the year.
Summerville Fire Department Chief Richard Waring presented the award for SFD firefighter of the year to Spenser Stevens, who joined the department in 2009.
“He is 100 percent dedicated to the fire department and to the town of Summerville,” Waring said. “He has leadership qualities like no one’s business.”
Dorchester County EMS Director Doug Warren presented the award for EMT of the year to Jimmy Murphy. Warren noted that Murphy has taken on many additional roles, including stepping up to a leadership role with the department’s tactical medical team.
Captain David Moore of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s office noted that the sheriff’s office this year actually had three presentations. DCSO recognized its Interstate Criminal Enforcement Team and K-9 Team, which consists of Lt. Joe Burnette, Cpl. Justin Eaches, Cpl. Tim Knight, Cpl. Nathan Rollins, Pfc. Mike Files, and Pfc. Johnnie Jefferson. The department recognized the team for their efforts in a situation that turned into a dangerous high-speed pursuit that ended in the apprehension of two armed and dangerous career criminals, one of whom had fired shots at pursuing deputies during the pursuit.
And here is the second article:
Knight also presented the Honor Guard Leadership Award to Captain Paul Hartline and the Unit Award to the Dorchester County K-9 Team, which includes Lt. Joseph Burnette, Coporal Justin Eaches, Corporal Tim Knight, Corporal Nathan Rollins, PFC Mike Files, and PFC Johnny Jefferson.
In addition, Lt. Burnette and Corporal Rollins and their K-9 partners, Fiest and Blitz, received a special K-9 Award from the National Criminal Enforcement Association. The award, known as the K-9 Sonja award, is named in honor of Dorchester County K-9 team Michael Dease and Sonja, who died in the line of duty in 2007.
Burnette and Rollins received the award for their actions during a harrowing high-speed pursuit that occurred in July 2011 that started on I-95 south near the 73 mile marker in Dorchester County and ended along Highway 61 in Colleton County. During the chase, one of the suspects fired several shots at pursuing deputies, which prompted the lead deputy in pursuit, Burnette, to ram the suspects’ car, forcing it off the road and causing it to overturn. The suspects continued to fire shots before fleeing on foot into a wooded area.
Burnette and Rollins then deployed their K-9s; the dogs soon apprehended both suspects. No one was wounded by gunfire; however, one deputy broke his hand during the apprehensions. Officers recovered three handguns from the suspects’ vehicle, which had been reported stolen out of Charlotte, North Carolina some ten days prior to Tuesday’s incident.