More than 30 members of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and jail were recognized for their outstanding work at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office annual banquet Thursday night.
The list of honorees included jail personnel, deputies, dispatchers, detectives, investigators, and more, who all put in long hours to protect the people of Smith County. They were thanked at a ceremony in the Green Acres Baptist Church.
Two were honored with the Sheriff’s Distinguished Medal for putting their lives at a significant risk on the job, said John Moore, public information officer and master of ceremonies for the event.
On April 7, Deputy Tim McDonald and Investigator Mike Simmons were called to a home for a welfare check on a woman.
They arrived to find a man covered with severe cuts from broken glass in the home, covered in blood.
The man was acting belligerent, and screamed for the deputies to shoot him and then flicked fresh blood on the deputies, hitting them in the face, mouth and eyes, Moore said. The two deputies then had to physically fight the man to get him in handcuffs.
The woman was later found injured and hiding in the woods, and both deputies were taken to the hospital. Both were put on medications to prevent the possible spread of diseases.
Two personnel were honored with the Life Saving Metal for saving a life in the line of duty.
Officer Lauren Fite had worked in the Smith County Jail for 10 months when she an inmate attempting to take his own life by hanging.
Officer Fite immediately notified other officers and the picket operator, Moore said.
She and several other officers held the inmate up until he could be cut down, saving his life.
“Due to her attention to detail and professionalism, this inmate’s life was saved,” Moore said.
Deputy Shawn White also was given the honor.
On Aug. 14, a welfare check was requested for an older woman who had not been heard from in a few days, Moore said.
White found the home locked, with a car in the driveway, but had gut feeling that something wasn’t right and asked for approval to search the home.
He was granted the approval, forced open the door and found a woman lying on the floor unable to get up. Police believe she was here for two days.
“This deputy used great judgment, went the extra mile and quite probably saved her life that night,” Moore said. “This deputy is truly an asset to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.”
The Sheriff’s Office also honored a particular department for doing its part in putting a criminal behind bars. The Special Services — Narcotics Unit was honored with the Unit Commendation for outstanding achievement by a team.
This spring, the administration received word that an unknown patrol deputy delivered methamphetamines.
An investigative plan was formed, which required cooperation between many agencies and long hours to enact, Moore said.
The investigation, with the help of the narcotics unit, led to the arrest of Deputy Kimbrick Jones earlier this year.
“As a result of this investigation the Smith County Sheriff’s Office gained credibility within the department and citizens of Smith County by successfully conducting and completing this investigation,” Moore said.
Sheriff Larry Smith said prior to the event that he is proud of his department and the professionalism they display.
“I want the public to know that the Smith County Sheriff’s Office has a great group of people who are dedicated to their jobs, their community and to service,” Smith said. “These individuals deserve to be recognized for the long hours they work and the risks they take to protect the citizens of Smith County. I am proud of every single one of them.”
Civilian Employees of the Year: Alicia Armstrong and Allyson Bunce.
Telecommunicator of the Year: Lakesha Ryder.
Detention Rookie Officer of the Year: Ronnie Lampkin.
Detention officer of the Year: Blair Edmonds.
Robert Britton Memorial Rookie of the Year: Deputy Wesley Hicks.
Dale David Geddie Memorial Peace Officer of the Year: Deputy Corey Cameron.
Plain Clothes Officer of the Year: Det. Aaron Hinton.
Don Pinkerton Memorial Supervisors of the Year: Lt. Carolyn Brown and Sgt. Clint Benson.
Commander’s Citation: Sgt. Britan Marlow.
Unit Commendation: Smith County Sheriff’s Office Special Services – Narcotics Unit.
Sheriff’s Leadership Award: Jeremy Thompson and Det. Jim Fortner.
Sheriff’s Achievement Award: Det. John Shoemaker, Sgt. Jeremy Black, Det. Tyrodrick Loftis.
Sheriff’s Meritorious Service Award: Mike Simmons, David Turner, Deputy Jeff Hobson, Det. Josh Caulkins and Trooper Nic Castle.
Life Saving Medal: Officer Lauren Fite and Deputy Shawn White.
Sheriff’s Distinguished Service Medal: Deputy Tim McDonald and Mike Simmons.
Five Year Service Award: Kimberly Bowser, Terry Brunk, Corey Cameron, Juan Cordova, Laquenda Daille, Christopher Garrison, Stephen Gilbert, Laura Griffin, Christopher Harris, Jacob Hart, Sandra Magouirk, Rebekah Massey, Larry Phillips, Christi Pierce, Christ Rainer, Marilyn Rolling, Dean Sanderson, Glenn Williams and Ronald Young, Jr.
Ten Year Service Award: Floriberto Arroyo, Gerald Atchison, Justin Hall, James Sparks, Brad Williams and Hope Woods.
Fifteen Year Service Award: Travis Breazeale, Dale Dixon, Brenda Johnson, Lt. Gary Middleton, Sgt. Susie Molina and Jose Rojas.
Twenty-year Service Award: Sgt. Patricia Blalock and Sgt. Gerald Caldwell.
Twenty-five Year Service Award: Hattie Boyd and Sgt. Mark Stinecipher.
Banquet Sponsors: Green Acres Baptist Church, John and Cindy Harper, Lone Star Harley Davidson, Remedy Staffing, Dillard’s, Talbots, Corner Bakery Café, Chili’s, The Flower Box, Margarita’s Restaurant, Lock & Load, Potpourri House, Automotive & Moore, The Shootist, Jim’s Jewelers, Starbucks, Nardis, Home Depot, Brookshire’s, Grassroots America, Katie’s, Collin Street Bakery and Nothing Bundt Cakes