2021 Awards Dinner: Winners and Photos

May 3, 2021

Medal of Valor

Deputy John Glass, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

On September 18, 2019 Deputies with eh Fugitive Apprehension Team and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit were serving a criminal attempt first degree murder warrant at 1230 Haven Circle in Memphis which was a small single wide trailer home in a South Memphis trailer park. Deputies received information from a resident on the scene that the wanted subject was hiding inside the trailer. After Deputies knocked and announced their presence and attempted to talk the wanted subject out of the trailer with negative results, Deputies Joshua Fox, John Glass, Jeffery Jensen, Francisco Araujo, and MPD K-9 Officer Nathan Newman entered the trailer to search for the wanted suspect while Deputies William Estredge and Taylor Garrison held the front door and entry to the trailer. While searching the trailer and attempting to locate the wanted suspect, Deputy Joshua Fox attempted to move a bookcase in a bedroom that the wanted suspect was believed to be hiding behind when the wanted suspect began shooting at Deputies from behind the bookcase and shot Deputy Joshua Fox multiple times. Deputies Fox, Glass, Araujo and Jensen returned fire striking the wanted suspect multiple times. During the mist of the shooting, Deputy Jensen was attacked by the MPD K-9 that was inside the residence and received several viscous bite wounds.

After realizing that Deputy Fox had been struck by gunfire and Deputy Jensen had been bitten by the dog, Deputy Glass called for a cease fire. In that moment, Deputies Glass and Araujo evacuated Deputies Fox and Jensen out of the room. Once Deputies Fox and Jensen had been removed from the trailer and out of the line of fire, Deputy Glass, thinking quickly in an extremely stressful situation and putting the safety and well-being of his fellow officers above his own, reentered the trailer and the room where the suspect was located. The suspect was still alive and still holding the pistol in his hand, was ordered by Deputy Glass to drop the weapon at which time the suspect raised and pointed the pistol at Deputy Glass who then fired several rounds at the suspect and striking the suspect eliminating the threat. Deputy Glass showed extraordinary courage in the face of a very violent and perilous situation by reentering that room and reencountering the suspect given the personal hazards, danger, and voluntary risk of his own life to safeguard the loves of his fellow officers and citizens.

Officer Taylor Coleman, Memphis Police Department, Memphis Fire Department

On June 20. 2020, Officer Taylor Coleman, who is assigned to the Tillman Stations Delta shift was on a traffic stop at Hudson and Crump when several citizens rushed up and told his about a house fire at 3166 Crump Avenue. Officer Coleman immediately proceeded to the location, where he saw flames and dark, dense smoke coming from the roof of the house. Officer Coleman notified dispatchers and requested fire personnel. Several Citizens stated that a male was observed leaving the house after the fire started but It was not known if other individuals were inside the house.

Officer Coleman told the dispatcher of the possibility of people being inside the house and said that de to the size of the fire he could not wait for the fire department to make the scene before entering. He went inside the house, clearing room after room until he same to two locked doors. The smoke became denser, and there was little visibility. When Officer Coleman called out, there was no response, s he kicked bot doors open and found inhabitants sleeping. Officer Coleman woke the two individuals and escorted them out before the fire department arrived. They were treated on the scene for minor injuries. The two men would probably not have made it out of the house without Officer Coleman’s swift, selfless actions.

2021 Jerome Turner Community Service

Driver Samuel Burford and Pvt. Tavio Taylor

Driver Samuel Burford and Pvt. Tavio Taylor have lead the efforts for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Fill the boot campaign. Their organizing and collecting efforts are done with the precision of military commanders preparing for battle. Their efforts extend well beyond the non-required volunteer work day. They both volunteer their own time on non-duty days as well to not only encourage other dire fighters, but to continue their personal efforts towards this initiative. This year, both Driver Burford and Pvt. Taylor took it a step further and coordinated their efforts with Ms. Hannah Warren and her family. Hannah is not only the face of the 2019 MDA campaign, she is also a benefactor of the wonderful work and progress that MDA has made over the years as a result of the hard work of people like Sammie and Tavio. The value of their efforts to the MDA campaign and the people who depend on it cannot be simply measured by the dollar amount raised, but by the personal level of commitment, compassion ad excellence both of these individuals have shown in taking up the mantle of this cause.

2021 Presidential Citation

Director Michael Rallings, Memphis Police Department