The Orange County Sheriff’s Department honored 54 brave individuals, mostly deputies, for going above and beyond the call of duty in the year 2020 during its 33rd annual Medal of Valor event on September 30.
The event was attended by delegates recalling individual and group accounts during a pre-recorded presentation in front of a live audience. After the video presentation, Sheriff Don Barnes personally awarded each deputy their medals. Awards included medals for life saving, merit, courage, distinguished deputy and others.
“Today’s respected people exemplify what it means to be a servant leader. Someone focused on their contribution to their community, not what’s in it for them,” Barnes said during the event.
“I can say without reservation, these 54 award winners represent the vast majority of peace officers who come to work every day to protect and serve their community. Fifty of those we heard speak for themselves , sharing their stories and experiences, sacrificed themselves for the benefit of those they didn’t even know.”
While only a select few were shortlisted to receive the coveted award, Barnes highlighted the many courageous acts during 2020, an unprecedented year marred by COVID-19, civil unrest and more. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Department had 306,000 calls to service, 61,000 evidence collected, 6,900 death investigations by the coroner’s office, 1024 pounds confiscated by a narcotics team, and 51 guns confiscated. Went.
267 bomb squad responses, 141 helicopter chases, 139 surrenders to K-9 teams, 23 activations by SWAT, and six boats set ablaze by port patrol.
“This is what we do,” Barnes said. “We run towards danger, while others are running from it. We help people in the worst of times of crisis, often in the worst moments of their lives. Our profession consists of courageous men and women who have taken an oath of duty to protect all people regardless of their personal risks. Policing has become more challenging than ever, but I think it has brought tremendous personal benefits. It is an incredible honor to wear this badge, we must always try not to spoil it.”
Barnes ended the event, explaining the past 18 months would have been more difficult if not for the overwhelming support of the Orange County community.
“During the past 18 months of trials, I have seen a tremendous depth of support for the law enforcement community, especially among Orange County residents,” Barnes said.
“Kind words of encouragement, homemade cards from schoolchildren, donated coffee and lunch from local businesses, prayers from our faith community, and countless ‘thank you’, haven’t stopped. We love and support from our residents. This genuine support is meaningful to all of us in the sheriff’s department. It makes the difficult parts of our job more meaningful.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times