On October 28, John Blair, the Chapter’s Public Safety Awards Chair, Chapter Vice President Tom Roth and Public Service Awards Committee member David Kuhnsman presented Life Saving Awards to Deputy Julio Ocasio, Deputy Jason Bebow, Deputy Devon Neckles and Officer Shakita Warren. Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, Police Assistant Chief Don Hayes, and command staff representatives from both agencies also attended the presentation which was held at the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Bebow and Deputy Ocasio were honored for their rescue of an inmate who had attempted suicide at the jail. Deputy Bebow and Deputy Ocasio were walking down a hall to assist with other inmates returning from court and both took care to look through the cell windows as they passed. Deputy Bebow, with Deputy Ocasio just behind him, was passing by a cell when he noticed that an inmate had strips of a torn wool blanket wrapped around his neck. Both deputies immediately entered the cell and removed the tightly wrapped blanket pieces from the inmate’s neck. They called for medical assistance and immediately began to provide aid. Fortunately, because of their vigilance and quick response, the man was not seriously hurt and was able to receive mental health treatment.
Deputy Neckles and Officer Warren were honored for their response to a call to check on the welfare of a man who had not shown up at work. Deputy Neckles, who was serving civil process, was nearby and responded with Officer Warren arriving soon after him. Both used their crisis intervention training (CIT) skills to successfully engage the man who admitted his plans for suicide. He told them that had they arrived even a short time later, they would have found his body. Working as a team, Deputy Neckles and Officer Warren kept the man safe, secured the weapons he had in his home, and ensured that he would receive mental health services.
All four law enforcement officers received certificates and medals for “saving a human life under emergency conditions.” According to Mr. Blair, their actions will also be considered for recognition by the Virginia State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
(l-r) Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, David Kuhnsman, Deputy Jason Bebow, Tom Roth, Deputy Julio Ocasio and John Blair
(l-r) Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, Tom Roth, Deputy Devon Neckles, John Blair, David Kuhnsman, Officer Shakita Warren and Assistant Chief Don Hayes