Montgomery County deputy is 2022 ‘CrimeStoppers Officer of the Year’

He was chose for the award for saving the live of a fellow deputy.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 4:36 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s been a year to remember for Corporal Derrick Riego with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

On Friday, he was named by Central Alabama CrimeStoppers as its 2022 “CrimeStoppers Officer of the Year” for the entire state of Alabama. That honor followed one in May in which he was recognized as the “Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office CrimeStoppers 2022 Officer of the Year”

Riego was nominated and earned the award for saving the life of another sheriff’s deputy who had been exposed to fentanyl. That incident happened on Saturday, April 16, 2022 while Riego was patrolling a rural part of the county. Shortly before 3 p.m., he heard fellow officer, Deputy Skylar Campbell, conduct a traffic stop and immediately responded as backup.

While Campbell was searching the suspect’s vehicle, he had incidental contact with what was believed to have been fentanyl and quickly went into respiratory distress and collapsed in the roadway.

Riego called for medics and administered a first dose of lifesaving Narcan, which initially appeared to show positive results. When Campbell became unresponsive again, Riego administered a second dose and, determining his fellow deputy’s quickly deteriorating condition could not wait for medics, made the decision to rush him to Baptist East Hospital on his own.

Riego’s rear-seat video camera was rolling as he rushed toward the hospital, Campbell incapacitated and struggling to breathe, lost consciousness again. Riego‘s patrol unit was intercepted by Sgt. David Alford, who helped give Campbell a third dose of Narcan.

Several long minutes later, while maneuvering through heavy traffic in dire circumstances, Riego arrived at the intersection of McLemore Drive and Atlanta Highway where he and other deputies and Montgomery EMS helped get Campbell’s lifeless body into an ambulance where a fourth dose of Narcan was given while en route to the emergency room.

Campbell’s condition was ultimately stabalized and he was able to make a full recovery because of the actions of his fellow officers.

When Riego was announced in May as the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office CrimeStoppers Officer of the Year, Sheriff Derrick Cunningham wrote:

“It is my pleasure to nominate Corporal Derrick Riego as our nominee for the CrimeStoppers Officer of the Year award. Corporal Riego should be commended for his expeditious decision making. His outstanding ability to think quickly and perform under an extremely difficult set of circumstances most certainly saved the life of Montgomery Deputy Skylar Campbell.”

Corporal Derrick Riego is seen here in May after being named the Montgomery County Sheriff's...
Corporal Derrick Riego is seen here in May after being named the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office "Officer of the Year" for 2022.(Source: Central Alabama CrimeStoppers)

Riego was presented the award in front of more than 100 attendees who helped raise funds for Central Alabama CrimeStoppers by participating in their annual Golf Tournament held at the RTJ Golf Course in Prattville.

In addition to earning the CrimeStoppers award, the corporal also got a new Ruger MAX9 Pistol, and $200 in gift cards from Gulf States Distributors.

Central Alabama CrimeStoppers and its program sponsor recognized 23 law enforcement officers from different agencies around the state as CrimeStoppers’ 2022 Officers of the Year between January and September and organizers said they’re already taking applications for 2023.

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