CUMMING, Ga. — Three deputies were honored by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office because they go above and the beyond for the community.
Deputy First Class Brian Chatham, Deputy First Class Mike Nelson and Deputy First Class Mike Reutter received their awards June 12 in front of their family and friends at the ceremony held at the sheriff’s headquarters.
Chatham was honored with the “Deputy of the Quarter” award for his numerous arrests and also his compassion.
Chatham made 14 felony arrests in the month of January alone. In one traffic stop, he caught a criminal with the identities of 176 victims on him. Sgt. Richard Thompson said this would be enough to be honored with the award, but the deputy showed more than just his crime fighting side.
Chatham and another deputy attended the drug court graduation of a woman who had worked hard to turn her life around. Capt. Mark Hoffman said she was visibly moved to tears when she saw them.
“That’s just the kind of guy Brian is,” Hoffman said. “He can go out there and arrest people, yet he’s got compassion and empathy for people out there and the things that he does everyday show that.”
Deputies Nelson and Reutter were honored with the “Medal of Merit” for their heroic efforts to extinguish a house fire on April 18.
The deputies saw the flames and smoke coming from the home. They grabbed their county-issued fire extinguishers, went into the smoke-filled home and put out the fire.
Major Paul Taylor said they also took another step and went around the house opening windows to help ventilate the home in an attempt to minimize the damage.
“When this came across my desk, I called the homeowner and he credited your actions for saving his house,” Taylor said. “It takes a special kind of courage to go inside a structure on fire.”
Nelson and Reutter thanked the sheriff’s office, family and friends for the prestigious award.
“Sometimes I think everyone thinks what we do is take people to jail, but, in this case, it kind of turned out to be fortunate enough where we could help someone in this manner and minimize the damage to their house,” Reutter said.
All three deputies gave a special thanks to their wives and children for their love and support.