Sheriff's Office holds annual awards banquet
Rockland — Saturday night, Feb. 4, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office held its annual employee recognition banquet at The Landings restaurant in Rockland. Approximately 50 people attended to see those receiving awards for accomplishments in 2016. Sheriff Donna Dennison recognized six people for their heroic and leadership actions as members of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and one person with a special recognition for his service to the office, as well as the whole community of Knox County.
The first two recipients of awards were for lifesaving actions in the course of duty.
Corrections Officer Dennis Palmer rescued an inmate one night from attempting to harm himself in the cell he was in. The inmate had made no communications or signs of wanting to harm himself, but because of Palmer’s quick response, the person was saved and assisted to get the help he needed.
Lt. Patrick Polky was on duty the night of Sept. 7, when he responded to a call that a person had communicated to dispatch that he was in distress. Upon his arrival, as Polky was exiting his cruiser, he heard a gunshot. Polky initially took a defensive tactical response, not knowing whether he was being shot at. Once he verbally engaged with the subject, he saw that the person had shot himself. Polky immediately called for EMS response and began lifesaving measures, as the person had shot himself in the chest. The person has since recovered from his wounds and is back at work.
Two supervisors were recognized for their leadership in the jail and patrol. Sgt. Elmer Sweetland and Sgt. Matthew Elwell, respectively, were awarded Supervisor of the Year citations for their work as leaders within the organization.
Brandon Mosher was awarded Corrections Officer of the Year and Paul Spear was awarded Deputy of the Year. Both were recognized for their work ethic and attitude as being outstanding in their profession.
Dennison presented a special award to Walker Hutchins of Burpee, Carpenter, and Hutchins Funeral Home of Rockland. Dennison thanked him for all the work he has done and helped the Sheriff's Office with over the years.
Chief Deputy Timothy Carroll said, “We wanted to recognize a person that we, unfortunately, see during troubling times in our professions. There is no better man, in his profession, than Walker Hutchins. When times are at their worst, Walker has a calming affect for all involved. I can speak for us in law enforcement, that even we feel better and know that things are going to be OK when Walker shows up on scene. This community is very fortunate to have someone like Walker in it.”