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Sheriff Strada presents awards to officers

Four members of the sheriff’s office were recently recognized for their service.

Sheriff Michael F. Strada recently recognized and awarded several members of the Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections with honors for their respective service.

Corrections Officer William Martin was presented with the Sheriff’s Meritorious Service Award for his actions in rendering medical aid to the victims of a motor vehicle accident he witnessed while off duty. The Sheriff’s Meritorious Service Award is awarded to officers who have performed a highly unusual accomplishment under adverse conditions with some degree of hazard to life and limb.

On January 8, 2013, Officer Martin’s father, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) William Martin, Sr. who was a member of the Stillwater Emergency Rescue Squad, was operating an ambulance in Stillwater Township, transporting a severely burned patient to a medical evacuation area to be airlifted. While driving, Mr. Martin suffered a sudden and massive heart attack. Realizing he was having some sort of coronary incident, EMT Martin quickly told the paramedics in the rear of the vehicle to “hold on” and attempted to pull off the road. He was unable to maintain control of the vehicle, however, and subsequently crashed into a pole resulting in downed electrical wires hanging over the ambulance.

Officer Martin, who was coincidentally nearby at the time of the accident, heard the sound of the collision and ran to the crash site to render aid, unaware that one of the victims was his father. Upon arrival, he assessed the scene and, disregarding his personal safety, entered the ambulance to determine the level of injury of those inside. It was at that point that Officer Martin realized who the driver was. Upon verifying that the paramedics in the rear of the vehicle were not seriously injured, Officer Martin assisted in removing his father from the wrecked vehicle. After checking his pulse and determining him to be unresponsive, Officer Martin then performed CPR on EMT Martin in the roadway until he was relieved. EMT Martin was transported to Newton Medical Center with CPR in progress. Unfortunately, despite Officer Martin’s valiant efforts, EMT Martin did not regain consciousness and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officer William Martin has served in the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections since January 2013.

Corrections Officer Jeremy Locke was presented with the Sheriff’s Meritorious Service Award for his actions in restraining a resistant and extremely violent inmate.

On June 23, 2013 Officer Locke was escorting an unruly prisoner back to his cell. Upon arriving at the cell, the inmate refused to enter and struck Officer Locke near his right eye also causing injury to his nose. Officer Locke was knocked down and his vision momentarily impaired. Officer Locke sustained several facial fractures, severe bleeding from his nose, and serious damage to the bones surrounding his eye. Despite these injuries, Officer Locke immediately got back up and assisted another officer in restraining the inmate before he could cause additional harm to others.

Officer Jeremy Locke has served in the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections since February 2008.

Sergeant James Milnor, Corrections Officer Kyle Keller and Corrections Officer William Martin were each presented with the Sheriff’s Honorable Service Award for their actions in thwarting an inmate from attempting suicide. The Sheriff’s Honorable Service Award is awarded to a member of the Sheriff’s Office who performs a creditable act in the line of duty which meets some, but not all the requirements for other medals, unusual in nature, showing initiative and accomplishment.

On May 4, 2013, Corrections Officer Keller responded to a request for assistance for an inmate attempting suicide. Upon arrival, Officer Keller observed one of the inmates attempting to hang himself with a noose fashioned from a bedsheet. Officer Keller entered the inmate’s cell and immediately lifted him up off the ground to release the tension and prevent further strangulation. Shortly thereafter, Officer Martin arrived and assisted Keller in lifting the inmate while Sergeant Milnor cut the noose. The inmate was then medically evaluated, placed on a suicide watch and transferred to another area of the facility. The actions of Sergeant Milnor, Officer Keller and Officer Martin unquestionably prevented the inmate from successfully taking his own life.

Sergeant James Milnor has served in the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections since May 2003. Officer Kyle Keller has served in the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections since May 2010.

Sheriff Strada congratulates each of these officers, thanks them for their service, and wishes them continued success in their careers.

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