By Joe Gorman
Police Chief Robin Lees said there were two firsts for him at the department’s annual awards ceremony at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall.
Lees said Wednesday that in his five years as chief, it was the first time officers received an award for valor, and 10 officers also received awards for saving someone’s life, which is the most awards in that category since he became the city’s top cop.
Other categories included meritorious service, firearm reduction, excellent duty and departmental commendations.
A civilian, Tarise White, also was given a lifesaving award for his actions May 5, 2017, when he helped an officer who was performing CPR on a woman who had passed out at the Western Reserve Transit Authority station and encouraged the woman to hang on.
Officers Brandon Caraway and Tim Edwards received the valor award for their actions Jan. 27 this year, when a man wearing a mask on West Princeton Avenue fired several shots at them when they tried to investigate what he was doing.
Edwards and Caraway both returned fire, striking the man, Gerald Wainwright, 25, of Hilton Avenue. Despite being wounded, Wainwright ran away from the officers, who managed to catch him. Wainwright recovered from his wounds and faces charges of felonious assault on a police officer in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Lees said the actions of both officers that early morning took a dangerous person off the streets. The award, he said, is hard to earn.
“We do not view these awards lightly,” Lees said.
Of the 10 officers receiving lifesaving awards, one of them, JeshailaDunkle, received two of them, one for helping revive a man who was having a heart attack in his West Side home and another for helping revive a woman at a Belmont Avenue store on the North Side along with officer Jennifer Hudson.
Other officers receiving the award were Lt. William Ross, Detective Sgt. George Anderson, and officers Kenneth Garling, Fred Herdman, John O’Neill Jr., Michael Saverko, Gregory Tackett and John Wess.
Four officers won the Firearm Reduction Award for taking at least five guns off the streets over the past year through investigations or traffic stops. Those officers were Ryan Curry, Jimmy Hughes Jr., Joshua Rivers and Mark Sember.
Detective Sgt. D.P. Scott and officer Brian Booksing won the Excellent Duty Award for their efforts in upgrading training and equipment in their respective divisions.