The Jasper County Sheriff's Office recognized several employees on April 2, some for outstanding service and some just for joining the force.

There aren't many jobs that present the opportunity to save a life as soon as you go to work.
The Jasper County Sheriff's Office recognized several employees on April 2, some for outstanding service and some just for joining the force.
New detention officer Walter Coleman was honored for both.
Just three months into his new job, Coleman and fellow detention officer Jeffrey Elkins saw an inmate in the jail start to try to hang himself from a railing on the second tier of cells.
According to the nomination from Jail Commander Capt. Becky Stevens, the incident happened on the morning of Feb. 7.
Here's what happened according to the nomination:
“Deputies Elkins and Coleman were picking up meal trays in E-pod. An inmate exited his top tier cell with a pair of long-john-style nylon pants tied around his neck. He climbed to the outside rail and started tying the other end of the article of clothing to the rail.
“Deputy Coleman proceeded to the top tier. Deputy Elkins stood below the inmate and attempted to rehold him up to relieve the tension when he jumped.
“Deputy Coleman was able to grab the inmate. Deputy Elkins proceeded to the top tier. Elkins and Coleman were able to pull the inmate back onto the mezzanine. Due to the quick response of Deputies Coleman and Elkins, an “In custody death,” was prevented.”
Coleman and Elkins were presented with the Sheriff's Office Lifesaving Award at the same ceremony where Coleman was recognized as a new employee and received his personalized Law Enforcement Bible.
“It's not every day that a guy is here as a new employee and he gets a lifesaving award all at the same ceremony,” Sheriff Randee Kaiser said. “Good job on that guys.”
Coleman said he knew going into law enforcement that he'd be called on to save lives, sometimes at risk of his own, but this situation was “intense” nonetheless.
“I was prepared for it, or I believe I was. I knew what I had to do,” Coleman said. “We're trained to try to prevent those situations if possible and keep those guys safe and keep ourselves safe at the same time. This is what I look forward to doing.”
Coleman said he recently took the test to join the department's SWAT team and hopes to become a road deputy soon.

Letter of Appreciation
Four other officers were honored going beyond what was required of them to help a group from out of town find shelter on a cold winter evening.
Sgt. Brandi Richardson's contribution was singled out in the nomination for letters of appreciation for Richardson, Sgt. Tim Williams, Sgt. John  Karraker and Dep. John Redden.
According to the nomination, Richardson was on her way home on Dec. 27, 2017, a night when the temperature was well below freezing, when she heard a radio conversation about a disabled church van carrying 12 young people and two adults from a church in Iowa on a mission trip to Arkansas.
The van had broken down on Missouri Highway 249 and officers were discussing how to help.
“(Richardson) took it upon herself to return to work, take a transport van out to the call and assist the group, keeping them warm and attempting several ways to try and get them help and back on their way,” the nomination said. “They transported the individuals to a rental company. When they found out the company didn't accept their credit cards, they then transported them to a motel. They left the motel and traveled to the tow company to retrieve the students' luggage from the broken down van, loaded up the luggage and returned it to the motel. She was out there for several hours working on this, making phone calls, driving around and transporting these people.”
Kaiser said this was an example of law officers going above and beyond what the job required of them.
“We could have just stopped roadside and said hey, do you have help on the way, to you have a cell phone, do you have a way to call help?, ok, and gone on our way,” Kaiser said.  “Law enforcement is about fighting crime and helping people but it doesn't always require us to go get a van for someone who is broken down and make multiple trips to get luggage. She went above and beyond and for that we're giving her and Sgt. Williams and Sgt. Karriker and Dep. Redden Letters of appreciation.”
Drake Richardson, 11, Brandi Richardson's son, was on hand to hear his mother be recognized and he was impressed.
“I only heard about the story a few weeks ago and I was so proud of my mom,” Drake said. “Who would do that on a freezing cold day.”
Brandi Richardson said she just wanted to help these people get somewhere warm and get on their way.
“I didn't want anyone getting stranded or getting cold, it was really cold that day,” she said. “It's very special just to be recognized. It's our job, but to be recognized for something is kind of overwhelming.”
Drake Richardson said his mom may think she was just doing her job, but he realized she did something special.
“She did an amazing thing,” he said. “I can't put into words how I feel about her.”