Clint Morris of the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office presented Sgt. Ted Carpenter and Deputy Jimmy Motes with a Valor award for their dedication to protecting a distressed man attempting to commit suicide.
“On Nov. 11, 2011, they confronted an armed suspect who was holding a pistol to his head,” Morris said. “They went above and beyond the call of duty, spending hours with the suspect, convincing him to do the right thing.”
Fire Chief Mike Earwood presented the award to Kyle Westhoven, a fairly new firefighter who created an environment of fitness and health at the fire department.
“He has been instrumental in creating a fitness program within the department,” said Earwood. “He is a Marine Corps veteran and always eager to learn. He’s currently enrolled in the fire science program at Chattahoochee Tech.”
Dallas Chief of Police Scott Halter honored Officer Chris Garmon.
“He makes my life easy,” Halter said. “He also responded to a call about a break-in, but combed the area really well and located the man who had entered another residence.”
Maj. Mike O’Neal of the Hiram Police Department honored Officer Larry Konieczny with a Valor award for his work with the Drug Awareness Resistance Education program in schools.
All the winners of the Valor awards received a gift bag and plaque from the Chamber.
Before the awards were given, Atlanta FBI Special Agent Angela Tobon spoke on the topic of public safety, especially in regards to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and counter-terrorism.
Tobon filled in for Special Agent Brian Lamkin, her former boss, who retired Aug. 31.
Tobon said the FBI focused on three things following 9/11.
“Counter-terrorism became our biggest priority,” she said. “We focused on intelligence, technology and partnerships.”
Tobon said the bureau improved its intelligence capabilities bureau-wide.
“We knew who our targets were and how to disrupt those targets,” she said.
Updating technology became a huge part in counter-terrorism efforts as well.
“We were very outdated. We now have state-of-the-art technology that allows us to track terrorist funding and gang activity,” Tobon said.
In terms of partnership, Tobon said the bureau now has offices in more than 60 countries and have assisted some of these countries with their own counter-terrorism efforts.
“The threat is ever-evolving,” Tobon said. “We have made progress. We are thankful to our local and state counterparts.”