National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Selects Jessica Hawkins as Officer of the Month
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Officer Jessica Hawkins of the Greenville (SC) Police Department as the recipient of its Officer of the Month Award for September 2015.
On May 30, 2015, Officer Hawkins participated in a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) run near downtown Greenville. At approximately 12:22 pm, when the race was over, she was on her way home when she heard a call go out about a female in an electric wheelchair who had fallen down a 20-foot embankment into a creek.
Although off duty and in athletic attire, Officer Hawkins was near the location and was the first officer to arrive at the scene. She observed bystanders watching the woman from the top of the embankment and saw the woman’s body submerged under the water, as well as half of her head. Officer Hawkins immediately jumped into action and ran into the creek.
It was clear that the woman had suffered a bad fall, as there was a lot of blood and a serious wound to the back of her head. Officers Hawkins grabbed the woman’s head and kept it above water until other responders could arrive on the scene and rescue her from the creek.
Since the incident, Officer Hawkins has visited the woman in the hospital, at the patient’s request, so that she could thank the officer for rescuing her. Officer Hawkins also assisted in the process of getting her a new wheelchair.
“Even though saving lives is in every police officer’s job description, it is clear that Officer Hawkins has a true calling for policing and went above and beyond the call of duty that day,” said Johnathan Bragg, Greenville (SC) Police Department Public Information Officer.
“Officer Hawkins’ quick thinking and police training played a large part in saving this woman’s life,” said Memorial Fund Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Craig W. Floyd. “She is a true example of a law enforcement hero and deserving of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award for September 2015.”
Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
Officer Hawkins, along with the other Officer of the Month Award recipients for 2015, will be honored at a special awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in May 2016, during National Police Week.
For more information about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, please visit www.nleomf.org. For more information about the National Law Enforcement Museum, please visit www.nleomf.org/museum.