Sheriffs honor Sammy Brown for bravery
Last night in Tulsa, OK, the National Sheriff’s Association gave Deputy Sheriff Sammy Brown its Deputy Sheriff of the Year award at the association’s annual conference and exhibition. Deputy Brown serves with the Jessamine County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Office.
Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating presented the award, along with NSA President, Sheriff John Cary Bittick.
NSA said that the distinction was bestowed upon Brown for “the extreme bravery he exhibited under fire” on the morning of Nov. 13, 2001. That morning, he and two other members of the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office went to a dry-docked houseboat to serve an arrest warrant on a man who had made repeated threats against a nephew’s family. While they were attempting to serve the warrant, the man pulled a .30-caliber M-1 carbine rifle from beneath his bed and began firing. Deputy Billy Ray Walls was killed instantly. Also hit was Capt. Chuck Morgan, who died from his wounds 15 days later.
Deputy Brown was hit in the head, shoulder and hip. Despite his wounds, he fired back with his own weapon, hitting the man several times dead center. The man, whom authorities later learned was on drugs and alcohol, continued firing his rifle. Realizing that firing shots into the man’s chest was seemingly having little effect, Deputy Brown aimed upwards. He put one round into the shooter’s head, stopping the assault instantly.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Joe Walker was on his way to the scene. He knew the deputies were there serving a warrant and became concerned when they did not respond to status checks. Then Brown alerted him to the fact that officers were down. Brown then managed to get to his cruiser and pull it onto the roadway so responding units would be able to locate the scene more easily.
Brown, 30, started his career with the sheriff’s office in May 2001. In five months on the job, he earned three letters of commendation–one for firearm proficiency.
“On Nov. 13, 2001, Deputy Brown’s courage and quick thinking under fire, and his presence of mind demonstrated after the shooting, show that he is a truly exemplary law enforcement professional,” the NSA citation reads.
In 1984, NSA established the Deputy Sheriff of the Year award to recognize a deputy for outstanding performance in all aspects of their duties. Motorola, Schaumburg, Ill., sponsors the award.
NSA has its headquarters Alexandria, Va. NSA represents 3,100 elected sheriffs has more than 20,000 members including deputy sheriffs and other law enforcement professionals. For 60 years, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government.