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Central AL officers honored for going above and beyond call of duty

Published: Jan. 27, 2016 at 9:00 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2016 at 10:12 PM CST
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(Source: WSFA 12)
(Source: WSFA 12)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The annual Central Alabama Crimestoppers awards luncheon was held on Wednesday to honor those who wear the badge.

Among those honored for going above and beyond the call of duty were 14 officers from agencies around the area, along with the U.S. Marshal's Middle District of Alabama fugitive task force.

Just some examples include Sergeant Steve Adams and Deputy Jeff Bert with the Autauga County Sheriff's Department who rescued a drowning baby and were able to get the infant breathing again.

In May 2015, five Montgomery police officers responded to an apartment fire where the structure was well involved with residents still inside. Without hesitation they rushed inside to rescue residents including several children.

"We just knew that we had to make a decision to put people's lives before ours. We've done a sworn oath to uphold the law as well as to protect and serve the community. So at that point, it was no second guessing. At that point, we knew we had to go in [because] it was children, it was elderly people [inside]," claimed Officer Rinaulti Russell with the Montgomery Police Department.

Organizers say in today's time with some of the animosity towards officers, it's needed to showcase and honor law enforcement's heroic efforts.

"We hear so much negativity, people don't understand these police officers; every day they have to put on their uniform and they expect to go to danger. We need to make sure that our police officers are shown that we love them and we appreciate them," said Tony Garrett, executive director for Central Alabama Crimestoppers. 

CRIMESTOPPERS OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARDS: 

Autauga County Sheriff's Department

Sergeant Steve Adams / Deputy Jeff Bert

On Aug. 13, 2015, while heading back to the sheriff's office following a call, a man in a pick up truck flagged down Sgt. Steve Adams and Deputy Jeff Bert. They followed the man to a residence where someone came running out stating there was a drowning baby inside. Once inside they found a female with an infant who was unresponsive and not breathing. Deputy Bert immediately gave the infant back blows which caused the infant to spit up a small amount of water. Sgt. Adams began chest compressions and after a minute or two the infant began breathing on its own. The officers then conducted traffic control for the arrival and departure of Life Flight.

Elmore County Sheriff's Department

Captain Chris Zeigler

Captain Chris Zeigler has served law enforcement for the past 20 years, 16 of which have been with Elmore County Sheriff's Office. Serving as Capt. of Patrol Deputies, he has been instrumental with in-house training in areas such as active shooter, domestic violence, felony car stops, hand to hand tactical and explosives. He was among 16 participants who took part in a lengthy training mission where only three individuals were elected to be instructors. He was among the three chosen. For several years, he commanded the Special Operations Unit and would oversee 219 missions, 47 of which involved a barricaded gunman and five involving a hostage situation.

Macon County Sheriff's Department

Investigator Dion Robinson

Dion Robinson is a 2008 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. He continued his education by obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Tuskegee University in May 2012 and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Information Systems and Securities Management at Tuskegee.

During his undergraduate studies, Dion was selected by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Enforcement Division to serve as an intern for two consecutive summers (2010 & 2011).

Passionate and eager to protect and serve his community, Dion chose to begin his law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff at the Macon County Sheriff's Office in 2012 after graduating from the Advanced Montgomery Police Academy. He has since been promoted to Investigator in the Special Operations Division with additional responsibilities such as Canine Handler, Agency Information Security Officer, McGruff Crime Prevention Coordinator, and Special Response Team Member.

Dion currently serves part-time on the United States Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Task Force as a Special Deputy.

Millbrook Police Department

Investigator Jason Brosius

Since Officer Jason Brosius has been assigned to the Millbrook Police Department's Criminal Investigations Unit, he has proven to be an asset. He uses common sense in an exceptional manner in the performance of his duties and he is tenacious and diligent in the performance of those duties. During his tenure in the Criminal Investigative Unit, Officer Brosius has been responsible for the clearance of numerous active cases. He has the respect of his fellow officers and the citizens of Millbrook.

Shortly after his assignment to the Criminal Investigative Unit Officer Brosius served as the lead investigator in a high profile investigation that cleared several burglaries and resulted in three individuals being
charged with Murder and Attempted Murder. Additionally those individuals have been charged with additional felonies, including Murder, in other jurisdictions, based, in large part, on the information developed during Officer Brosius' investigation

Montgomery Police Department

Officer A. T. Young
Officer C. B. Smith
Officer J. L. Armstrong
Officer R. Q. Russell
Officer J. E. Borden

On May 19, 2015, these officers responded to an apartment fire at 4800 Windy Wood Court. When they arrived the structure was well involved with residents still inside. These officers without hesitation, rushed inside to rescue residents. They acted swiftly and rushed to the upstairs and made entry into the apartments where the fire was most prominent and escorted residents to a safe area. They then went back to the level floor and rescued several children whose only escape was through a bedroom window.

Once all residents were safely evacuated they began clearing residents from other buildings in case the fire spread. These officers exhibited a profound selfless service and put these lives of the citizens above their own. Without these five officers' actions, the probability of serious injury or death would have been inevitable.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Department

Deputy James Richardson

Nov. 20, 2015 began as a normal day for Deputy James Richardson. As he was leaving his home and exiting the neighborhood he noticed a man lying on the walking trail. He stopped and quickly noticed the man did not have a pulse and appeared to have had a heart attack. Relying on his quick thinking and medical training, Richardson quickly began CPR and was able to revive the man until paramedics arrived.

Prattville Police Department

Investigator Scott Baxley

While investigating a burglary at a local business, Investigator Scott Baxley began to look at a previous burglary that took place at the same location.

After reviewing hours of surveillance video, it was determined that the same person was responsible for both burglaries. The suspect confessed to both burglaries and Baxley was able to recover a significant amount of the property from the first burglary and return it to the victim. When the victim retrieved the property, he expressed great appreciation for Baxley's efforts and stated that one of the items recovered was a family heir loom, which was priceless to him.

Baxley was also the lead investigator on a case where bodily fluid was thrown on a victim at Target. As the case agent, Baxley worked tirelessly to ensure that evidence was preserved and submitted for examination. He, while in the patrol division, stopped a suspicious vehicle in the area several days after the offense was committed that was ultimately proven through DNA evidence to be the person responsible for throwing the bodily fluid and later following/stalking the victim as she left the store. Baxley's documentation and case work in this case was also extremely thorough and proved without doubt the culpability of the defendant which was arrested.

Troy Police Department

Officer Tim Ward

On Oct. 12, 2015 at 3 p.m., Haynes Ambulance was dispatched to a medical call at a Mobile Home Park just off of U.S. 231 South of Troy. Dispatch advised that the caller had stated that a male subject at the residence was not breathing.

Officer Ward arrived on scene within minutes of hearing the call go out to Haynes Ambulance and found an unresponsive white male lying on the bedroom floor with no pulse and he was not breathing. Officer Ward began chest compressions and continued until Haynes Ambulance arrived approximately three minutes later. Ambulance personnel took over chest compressions and gave Officer Ward a breath bag and instructed him to assist breathing for this subject. Officer Ward continued with breath assistance until paramedics were ready to transport to Troy Regional Medical Center. Ward followed the ambulance to the Emergency Room to find that the subject had begun breathing on his own.

Officer Ward was praised for his quick actions by medical staff at the hospital and paramedics from Haynes Ambulance.

United States Marshals Middle District of Alabama

Deputy Marshals and Task Force Investigators

The Officer of the Year for 2015 for the U.S. Marshals are all the task force officers and Deputy Marshals in the Middle District of Alabama.

During 2015, all these law enforcement officers not only supported state and local law enforcement in tracking down violent fugitives and sexual predators as they do every year, but this year was especially demanding. They worked alongside other state and local law enforcement officers in Central Alabama to reduce violent crime through Operation Triple Beam in Montgomery, Montgomery PD Special Operations Detail, several drug operations throughout the area, and 13 separate Sex Offender Operations throughout Central Alabama.

Here are some of the highlights from 2015:
697 – fugitives arrested
62 - fugitives wanted for Murder
120 - fugitives wanted for Robbery
55 - fugitives wanted for weapon offenses
98 - sexual predators
554 - sex offender compliance checks
128 – weapons seized

Wetumpka Police Department

Officer William Mann

Officer William Mann is assigned to the Wetumpka Police Department Patrol Division. He has distinguished himself by making numerous felony arrests, which ranged from drug possession to stolen vehicles and assault cases.

In April 2015, Officer Mann turned a routine traffic stop into a major drug ring investigation. The vehicle Officer Mann stopped was transporting illegal narcotics to a State Prison, located in Elmore County. Officer Mann notified Department of Corrections and after a joint agency investigation, a major drug ring was taken down.

In July of 2015, Officer Mann gave foot pursuit to a burglary suspect in the Blue Ridge area. Officer Mann caught the suspect and placed him under apprehension. His arrest led to the closing of several Burglary cases and the return of tens of thousands of dollars of stolen property to the victims.

Officer Mann has worked the ADECA traffic safety details and his work has led to a 20 percent reduction of accidents in the city.

In addition to his dedication to work, he has also donated his off time to help less fortunate children have a Merry Christmas.

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