Four deputies recognized for outstanding service

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Four Forsyth County deputies were recently recognized for going beyond the call of duty in performing their jobs as law enforcement officers.

In a ceremony at the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office North Precinct, Deputy Sheriff William V. McConnell, Jr. was presented with the Medal of Valor.

This is the second highest award presented to an individual by the agency.

In May, McConnell was dispatched to a 911 hang-up call.

As he was en route to the call, he was told that that the call was actually a medical call. The caller said that a 58-year-old man was gasping for air and having a possible allergic reaction, said Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton.

When McConnell arrived on the scene, he found that the man was not breathing.

He began administering CPR and continued even after other rescue crews had arrived. The man regained a pulse and was transported to the hospital.

“Deputy Sheriff McConnell is a wonderful example of the type of men and women we have working here at the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office,” said Paxton. “His actions make us all proud on a daily basis.”

In addition to McConnell’s recognition, Deputy First Class Chris Barger and Sgt. Ron Simmons received a commendation for volunteering their time to transport an inmate from a state prison in Milledgeville, Ga. to DeKalb Medical Center to visit his dying mother.

In a letter written by the dying woman’s niece, she said, “I know it meant the world to her to be able to say goodbye to her son before she passed. I can’t speak highly enough of the generosity of Officer Barger and Simmons, or their willingness to go help a family they didn’t know during this time.”

The inmate’s mother had been involved in an auto crash three months prior to her death, as she and his father were returning home from visiting him. She was transported to the hospital at that time and was still suffering from the injuries from the collision at the time of her death.

Also recognized was Deputy Anthony Hodgkins.

As Hodgkins was on his way back to Forsyth County from transporting a juvenile to Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center, he saw a woman screaming for help on Jesse Jewell Parkway in Hall County.

The woman was an off-duty Hall County deputy and was trying to apprehend a man walking down the center of the roadway.

The man had stated that someone was going to have to kill him to stop him.

With Hodgkins’ assistance, the two officers were able to subdue the man after a brief scuffle. It was determined that the man was mentally unstable and had recently been released from a mental facility.

“Deputy Hodgkins’ immediate action to help preserve the peace outside of his jurisdiction resulted in a possible dangerous suspect being apprehended in a very timely manner,” Paxton said. “I am very proud of the actions of all three of these deputies. They are examples to many others of what public service is all about.”

All three deputies work in the uniform patrol division and are assigned to the office’s North Precinct.