Captain Keith Henson, left, receives a Medal of Commendation from Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston last Saturday during the department’s annual banquet and awards ceremony.

The Gordon County Sheriff’s Auxiliary and Sheriff Mitch Ralston hosted the 5th Annual Gordon County Sheriff’s Office Employee Recognition and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Ralston and his senior staff honored a number of private citizens who provided services to the Sheriff’s Office, including staff members of Southern Health Care Partners, who were chosen as outstanding jail health care providers in this region. Nurse Jenna Ray was also commended for helping fight a fire in the jail; along with Joseph David Hyde, who assisted a deputy in arresting a resisting violator.

Ralston recognized several other public servants who assisted the Sheriff’s Office in the aftermath of the Jan. 30 tornado. Lt. Don Stultz received a Unit Citation Medal on behalf of the Georgia State Patrol. Assistant Chief Terry Mills of the Calhoun City Fire Department was recognized and received a Community Service Medal. Mike Satterfield was also recognized for his support on behalf of the Gordon County Department of Transportation.

Mary Ruth Garigan, a charter member of the Sheriff’s Auxiliary received the 2013 Jerry L. Brown Memorial Auxiliary Member of the Year award.

Deputy Keith Jones, assigned to the Circuit Drug Court Program, received the Sheriff’s Extra Mile Award.

Vickie Hamsley received the 2013 Civilian Employee of the Year Award.

Jailer T.D. Hills received the 2013 Jailer of the Year Award.

Deputy Chad Stafford received the 2013 Judicial Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award.

Deputy Anthony Bramblett received the 2013 Enforcement Deputy Sheriff Award of the Year.

Detective Eric Burns received the 2013 Detective of the Year Award.

Captain Keith Henson and Deputy Dale Pullen both received Sheriff’s Commendation Medals for excellent arrests in major felony cases.

Deputy Dale Pullen and Deputy Jamie Kirby both received Drug Enforcement Award medals for outstanding arrests, seizures and prosecutions in the field of counter-drug enforcement.

Sergeant Craig Henson received the John D. Blair Memorial Freedom Award. Henson has been on an extended medical leave, but is soon expected to return to this duties.

Detective J.L. Johnston received a Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding work in a number of capital case investigations as a crime scene investigator.

Deputy Grady F. Jolley received a Distinguished Service Award for his 21 years of dedicated and devoted service upon his retirement from the Sheriff’s Office this month.

Deputy Matthew Flippen received the Meritorious Service Award, the Sheriff Office’s highest second highest award, for his response and reaction to a jail fire. Flippen was the first deputy to ever receive this medal for actions inside the county jail.

Detective Eric Burns received a Meritorious Service Award for Lifesaving for performing the Heimlich Maneuver on a choking restaurant patron while off duty.

Lieutenant Jimmy Shaw, Detective Danny White and Deputy Steven Yancey each received a Meritorious Service Award With “V” Device for Valor, for the rescue of a trapped and injured citizen in a severely damaged structure in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 30 tornado.

Deputy Les Prine received the Medal of Valor, the Sheriff Office’s highest award, for his actions in February incident wherein a man armed with a hunting rifle threatened a number of deputy sheriffs.

The County Board of Commissioners honored Sheriff Ralston with an official Proclamation praising Ralston and his staff for their pre-disaster planning and pre-deployment of emergency resources in addition to their actions for keeping the county safe in the aftermath of the Jan. 30 tornado.

The annual ceremony was made possible by the Sheriff’s Auxiliary, a not-for-profit organization composed of community-minded residents who support the Sheriff’s Office staff and various local charities.

The following personnel received Certificates of Commendation for superior law enforcement work:

  • Lieutenant Jack Jenkins
  • Lieutenant Chris Brown
  • SFC Clifford Daniel
  • Sergeant Johnny Bray
  • Sergeant Chad Phillips
  • Deputy Elbert Shelley
  • Detective Kenneth Hollaran
  • Detective Lindsey Ralston
  • Detective J.L. Johnston
  • Deputy Kris Roberts
  • Deputy Scott Shaw
  • Deputy Dalyn Pulliam
  • Detective Carrie Smith
  • Detective Ginger Daffron
  • Detective Eric Burns
  • Detective Mike Hill
  • Detective Charles Mazeriegos
  • Deputy Keith Jones
  • Deputy Greg Bray