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Local Law Enforcement receive awards

Gilchrist County law enforcement was given a good meal and accolades for a job well done during their annual awards luncheon on Thursday August 2, at Otter Springs Lodge.
The lodge was filled to capacity as the GCSO staff, corrections officers and deputies along with their families filled the room.
Chief Deputy Jeff Manning welcomed those attending and told them the awards that are being given were for the year 2017. Chief Manning said that the sheriff’s office will host a dinner in the first quarter of 2019 for the 2018 awards.
Everyone participated in the pledge and Sheriff Schultz gave the blessing for the food. Those gathered enjoyed a great meal of barbecue, sides and fruit cobbler.
Sheriff Bobby Schultz introduced motivational speaker Dennis Webber. Webber talked about those serving in law enforcement being set apart for service. He encouraged them to have a purpose for their life and a passion for their mission. Perseverance and principles, as well as prayer, were among his topics. Webber’s handout included many meaningful quotes including this one, “Only a life lived for others is the life worthwhile” Albert Einstein.
Several new hires in the corrections division were introduced, Elmer Brown, Ken’dreille Gent and Samantha Lillard are all working at the county jail now.
New patrol deputies that were introduced were Trent Freeman, Garrett Underwood, Taylor Ericson, John Dyle and Austin Ritchey.
New hires in dispatch include Mikayla Baillie, Haley Finnen and Kerceton Walker.
Promotions that were announced included Kieran Bryan 911 Coorinator, Todd Holder Investi-gator, Sgt. Robin Norris and Sgt. Henry Howe both in corrections.
Lt. Clint Anderson is the new Community Relations Commander. Lt. Alex Gaston is the Patrol Commander, Lt. Keagon Weatherford is the Operations Commander and Lt. Todd Holley is the Corrections Commander.
The School Resource Officers for this school year will be Deputy David Aderholt at Bell Elementary, Deputy Bryant Davidson at Bell High School, Deputy Jennifer Williams at Trenton Elementary School and Deputy Mike Rome at Trenton High School.
The big awards for the afternoon started with the Civilian Employee of the Year Award which went to Nurse Julee Brideson. Three One Team One Mission Awards were given to Karl Wulf/Wulf Installations, Mark Lundy and Dale Anderson. Dispatcher of the Year was awarded to Christine Campbell. Corrections Deputy of the Year went to Sgt. Henry Howe. Deputy of the Year was presented to Deputy Robert Whitaker. Dedication of Service award went to former Deputy Brent Strickland. Ms. Clyda Mae Hilliard was also honored for her 28 years as a crossing guard at Bell.
The big award for the afternoon was presented by Ken Cruse, father of the late Tony Cruse. Cruse said “Tony loved Gilchrist County with his whole heart.” The Tony Cruse Award went to Reserve Deputy Mark Havelock. Sheriff Schultz said that Deputy Havelock is always behind the scenes working and volunteering. If you call him, he shows up ready to help.
Chief Manning recognized those with many years of service. Those with five years at GCSO were Deputy Michael Simpson and Deputy Laura Downey. With ten years at the Sheriff’s Office is Dispatch Shift Leader Mike Austin. Jeannie Roberts of the Personnel/Public Records Custodian was recognized for twenty years and Deputy David Aderholt was recognized for twenty-five years with GCSO.
Sheriff Bobby Schultz told the members of the GCSO, “You are making Gilchrist County a safe place to live, work and raise a family. You do it because its the right thing to do. I’m very proud of what you do.”