Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:
Thirty one Sheriff’s Office employees were recognized with official awards and commendations for their work during 2015 at the annual Sheriff’s Office Employee Appreciation and Awards Banquet Saturday night (December 5th), at Northwest Georgia Technical College in Calhoun. Sheriff Mitch Ralston presented the awards to the employees. The following staff members received official awards and commendations:
Jailors Dylan Blalock, Matthew Herrod, Tyler Hammontree, Ben Fox, Troy Smith, and Brian Brannon; Deputy Sheriffs Carl Martin, Chad Stafford, Daniel Nelson; Detectives Corey Tate, Kenneth Hollaran, Kyle Burkett; and Detective/Sergeant J.L. Johnston all received Certificates of Commendation for exceptional performance of official duties.
Jailor Susan Santizo received a Jailor Commendation Medal for rescuing a jail inmate who attempted suicide.
Captain Keith Henson received the Sheriff’s Extra Mile Award for crafting and constructing specialized equipment at no cost to the county government.
Deputy Sheriffs Rob Prause, Anthony Bramlett, Scott Shaw; Detective Adam Cook, and Sergeant Dale Pullen all received Drug Enforcement Awards, each in connection with methamphetamine or cocaine trafficking arrests and prosecutions. Sergeant Pullen’s award was his fourth such commendation.
Deputy Sheriff Rex Anderson received the (Enforcement) Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award.
Deputy Sheriff Ryan Patania received the (Judicial) Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award.
Detective Jamey Kirby received the Detective of the Year Award.
Jailor Scott Blackstock received the Jailor of the Year Award.
Ronny Reeves received the Civilian Employee of the Year Award.
Marvin Garner received the Auxiliary Member of the Year Award.
Deputy Sheriffs Ben Worley, Russ Jones, and Kevin Hernandez each received Meritorious Service Awards regarding the rescue of a truck driver who’d lost consciousness while driving on Interstate 75.
Sergeant Kevin Rickett and Deputy Alex Sutherland both received Meritorious Service Awards for the arrest of a murder suspect.
Lieutenant Jimmy Shaw received a Meritorious Service Award for the rescue of two small children in a barricaded-suspect situation.
Sheriff Ralston also presented special awards for public service and appreciation to Gordon County E911 Operator Corey Hayes (E911 Operator of the Year), County Fire Chief Doug Ralston , and County Administrator John King, each of whom he thanked for their service to the citizens of the County and support of the Sheriff’s Office.
In his closing remarks, Sheriff Ralston thanked his entire staff for their work and dedication to duty. He spoke of the discipline required of public servants, as well as discipline and integrity on the part of the organization as a whole, as being responsible for the level of trust and support of the community that the Sheriff’s Office enjoys. He also spoke about duty and patriotism in everyday life, and of faith and the role that the individual citizen plays in keeping the fabric of our society woven together.
The Annual Banquet is sponsored and funded each year by the Sheriff’s Auxiliary, a non-profit group of citizens which supports the Office of Sheriff and Staff, and performs charitable works for the Calhoun/ Gordon County Community.