//VPD honors officers for service and life saving awards

VPD honors officers for service and life saving awards

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The Valdosta Police Department honored 34 personnel during a Service and Department Awards Ceremony on May 27. City officials, government employees and citizens gathered to honor the dedicated service of the outstanding men and women who make up the city’s police force.

“When you have someone that has given their life, 20 to 30 years to this department is outstanding. They need to be recognized for a job well done,” said Police Chief Leslie Manahan. “The individuals who received the lifesaving award truly did save lives with their actions. They have shown us their commitment to law enforcement while on or off duty. We are so proud of them.”

The full list of awards celebrated at the ceremony are as follows:

35 Year Service Award

  • Nancy Robinson

30 Year Service Award

  • Barry Williams

25 Year Service Award

  • Elaine Plummer
  • Kari Williams
  • Matt O’Steen
  • Bobbi McGraw

20 Year Service Award

  • Christopher Crews
  • Joshua Ellwood
  • Jason Figarola
  • Kyle Salter

15 Year of Service Award

  • Brian Becton
  • Adam Bembry
  • Shandora Gray
  • Tracy Haddix
  • Randall Hancock
  • Joel Hurley
  • Selina Phinney
  • Stephen Thompson
  • Heather Willis

10 Year of Service Award

  • Vincent Altobello
  • Colby Clark
  • Daniel Dutton
  • Derrick Keene
  • Charles Klingemann
  • Martin Miller
  • Steven Shadron
  • William Shirley
  • Jeffrey Stokes
  • Holly Vickers

2021 Lifesaving Awards:

Officer Zachary Touchton:  On July 28, 2020, Officer Zachary Touchton responded to a very heated domestic situation.  Upon arrival, a male was physically assaulting a female inside a residence.  Officer Touchton heard the desperate cries for help from the female and ran into the house (prior to arrival of backup) in an attempt to get the victim out of the offender’s grasp.  The victim was being physically choked as Officer Touchton grabbed the offender’s hands trying to loosen the grip he had around the victim’s neck.  The offender finally released the victim from his grip, and Officer Touchton continued to put himself between the victim and the offender until backup arrived and the offender was placed into custody.  

Officer Jason Glass:  On July 28, 2020, Officer Glass responded to a code blue on White Oak Drive.  An elderly male was in the bed with no respirations or heartbeat.  Officer Glass immediately got the victim onto the floor and started CPR.  EMS was responding from the Hahira area. Valdosta Fire Department first responders arrived, and Officer Glass continued to do CPR along with fire personnel.  EMS personnel arrived on scene, and they were able to resuscitate the patient.  He was transported to the hospital.  Two of the paramedics complimented Officer Glass on his quick actions which made the resuscitation possible.

Officer Derrick Keene and Officer Michael Rice:  On August 28, 2020, an Aggravated Assault took place at Freedom Park in which two victims received serious gunshot wounds.  Officer Derrick Keene was off duty, however, he was the first to arrive on scene.  He began field treatment of one of the seriously wounded persons as other officers arrived.  Officer Michael Rice arrived on scene and applied a tourniquet to the victim who had a gunshot wound and serious bleed to one of his legs.  The quick thinking, actions, and lifesaving attention given to these two victims was instrumental in the fact that they both survived serious, life threatening wounds.

CST Selena Phinney:  On March 1, 2021, CST Phinney heard a multi-vehicle accident dispatched that had occurred on Norman Drive.  CST Phinney was close to the location and responded.  Upon arrival she saw a burning vehicle and victim inside the vehicle.  She worked with other citizens to get the victim free of the vehicle on fire and moved to safety.  The fire continued to grow and CST Phinney knew the victim needed to be moved farther away, so she instrumental in getting the victim further from the danger of the fire all while rendering first aid to the victim.  

Visit the city’s Facebook page to view images of the event.

The city congratulates these incredible police personnel for their long-standing efforts to protect and serve Valdosta citizens, day in and day out.