Officer Katy Walters was selected as the 2018 officer of the year by the Floyd County Police Department for her role in saving the life of a child who was shot during an incident in July. Other recognitions were made for quarterly awards as well as three officer retirements.
The honors were presented during the agency’s annual Christmas luncheon on Wednesday. Walters is a six-year veteran of FCPD. Her selection as Officer of the Year hails her “calm under pressure” and poise during a call that can very hectic for any first responder.
Officer Walters was first to arrive to a Lindale residence on July 15, 2018 where she found a 13-year-old who had been shot through the abdomen and a smaller child who was also injured by the same projectile that injured the teen. She was able to utilize her training in use of the tourniquet to stop the flow of blood and also used a clotting ingredient stabilize the children.
Chief Mark Wallace said that medical personnel praised Officer Walters for her actions and reported that without her quick response the children would have died.
Other officers recognized for meritorious acts include:
- J.D. McCormick, who sacrificed his body to stop a pursuit that involved an alleged child predator who was using his vehicle as a weapon against other officers and nearly crashed into a mail carrier. Officer McCormick’s actions saved the life of the mail carrier and terminated a pursuit that would have likely entered another jurisdiction.
- Misty Pledger, whose work as a child crimes investigator, has lead the charge in internet predators. She has received accolades from other agencies who have worked alongside her in operations that have seen the arrest of hundreds.
- Ron Hunton, who helped to console a grieving family in their time of loss and was overly gracious for the family in their time of loss.
- Chad Johnson, PFC Carlos Ribot and PFC Floyd Brooks who assisted in a drug arrest that saw the recovery of a large quantity of dangerous drugs
Other recognitions that were made include the retirements of senior officers, including Cheryl Bray, Mike Studdard and Gary Conway.
Bray has been with FCPD for 34 years and has been assistant to three chiefs of police. She is an important cog in the works of the police department and been a limitless resource for not only police administration but officers in general.
“Cheryl has more knowledge about department functions and more recall of the past than almost anyone else,” said Chief Wallace. “She has watched over this department like it was her third child.”
“We can fill the position but we can’t replace the person,” he said.
Captain Conway is resigning with 31 years of service to become head of security at the new Atlanta Braves training facility in Florida. Wallace describes him as the department’s resident golf pro. Conway has worked as a patrol officer and investigator during his time at FCPD and was one of the first officers to be placed in the school system as a resource officer.
“His friendship and professionalism will be missed,” said Chief Wallace.
Mike Studdard retires after 26 years of service, which included time on patrol and investigations at FCPD as well as prior duties as jail administrator at the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.
“Studdard hasn’t always been the warm loveable guy that you know today,” said Wallace, of the man who was the chief’s training officer at one time. “He has been a close friend for over 38 years, but it’s maybe closer to 37 years since I didn’t like him much during the first year I was at the county police.”