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Polk Deputies, Volunteers Efforts Recognized

Office given ‘Commander of the Year’ and ‘Lifesaving’ awards at banquet

Members of sheriff’s department were honored.

Members of sheriff’s department were honored. Contributed by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office

SALEM — Several members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a variety of state wide awards at the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association annual awards banquet.

Life Saving Awards were given to Deputy Artur Artunyan, Deputy Chris Younger, Deputy Josh Brooks, Sergeant Erik Heikila and Sgt. Michael Redding.

These three deputies and two sergeants worked together to save the life of an inmate who was actively attempting to commit suicide and who was also being combative towards the corrections deputies, Sheriff Mark Garton said in a press release.

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Sheriff Mark Garton and Lt. Jeff Isham

Polk County Reserve Deputy Eric Berry and Lincoln County Deputy Eric Larson also earned Lifesaving honors.

They worked together to pull a driver from a car that had just crashed, Garton said.

The vehicle was on fire, and these two deputies used pure physical force to pry open the car door and (pulled) the driver to safety, Garton added.

Minutes after they pulled the driver out, the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.

If it were not for their attentiveness and distinct actions at the scene by removing the man from the burning car, the crash would have been fatal, Garton said.

Patrol Commander of the Year award was given to Lt. Jeff Isham.

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Sheriff Mark Garton and John Brown.

This award is given to only one person in a sheriff’s office who oversees the general operations of a patrol division, Garton said.

Isham was given this award based on his diligent work in the hiring process since the passage of the public safety levy, in the patrol and corrections divisions,

Garton noted. Lt. Isham also took over the duties of the jail commander, in addition to his patrol duties.

Enforcement Command Council — Volunteer of the year award went to John Brown — Salt (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) member. This award is given to only one volunteer from across the state of Oregon in recognition of his or her volunteer service, Garton said.

John has volunteered nearly 600 hours in 2016 and assists the sheriff’s office in many ways from serving civil documents. He also takes evidence to the Springfield Crime Lab and is actively involved in community events, Garton said.

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