Deputy Honored at 27th Annual Valor Awards
On Thursday, June 13, the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce hosted the 27th Annual Valor Awards to honor the bravery and quick-thinking of Alexandria’s public safety employees. During the luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, Police Chief Earl Cook and Fire Chief Adam Thiel presented their staff members with certificates and medals for their courageous and life-saving actions.
Sheriff Lawhorne presented Deputy Brian Bell with a Life Saving Award (right) in recognition of his efforts to aid an emotionally disturbed person on a highway overpass. On the night of April 15, Deputy Bell, who was off-duty, observed subject on the shoulder of the overpass gazing at the traffic below. He immediately pulled over and called dispatch to advise them of the situation. While exiting the vehicle, Deputy Bell observed a Metro van pull up to the area where the woman was standing. She appeared to become increasingly agitated as she engaged in a conversation with someone in the van. The woman moved to straddle the other side of the overpass, half her body above the southbound lanes of I-495/95. Deputy Bell hurried towards the woman and began speaking to her in an attempt to calm her down. He continued to speak to her until Alexandria police officers arrived to assist him.
While Deputy Bell distracted the woman, one of the police officers maneuvered himself behind the woman, grabbed her and placed her on the pavement of the overpass. The woman was transported to Inova Alexandria Hospital for a mental evaluation. Due to Deputy Bell’s observation and quick actions, the woman survived to get the help she needed.
To learn about all the honorees, download the program.