officers exemplifying the spirit of the harrisonburg police department honored
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Officers exemplifying the ‘spirit of the Harrisonburg Police Department’ honored

harrisonburg policeSix officers from the Harrisonburg Police Department received awards Tuesday night for their exceptional performance in the past year.

“These officers exemplify the spirit of the Harrisonburg Police Department, selflessness, bravery, professionalism, and community first,” said Kelley Warner, HPD chief. “I couldn’t be more proud.”

Awards were given to:

  • Officer of the Year: Officer Rusty Driver,  17-year veteran received this recognition for his informal leadership, training and dedication. Rusty is the consummate patrol officer, always there to assist and mentor new and veteran officers alike. (Given by the Harrisonburg Chapter of the Kiwanis for Law.)
  • Law Enforcement Commendation and Medal: Lieutenant Chris Watson, for his years of leadership, dedication and accomplishments.
  • Law Enforcement Commendation and Medal: Detective Brooke Wetherell, for her tireless work investigating the double homicide that resulted in the arrest of a likely serial killer.
  • Life Saving Commendation and Medal: Lieutenant Charles Grubbs, for saving a citizen who overdosed on heroin and without quick administration of NARCAN before rescue arrived, it’s likely the victim would not have survived.
  • Life Saving Commendation and Medal: Officer Isabella Stunda, for saving a citizen who overdosed on heroin and without quick administration of NARCAN before rescue arrived, it’s likely the victim would not have survived.
  • Heroism Commendation and Medal: Officer Stephen Burrows, for putting himself in harm’s way when a disgruntled boyfriend of a resident fired 13 shots into a home that Burrows was standing in front of. Burrows quickly got the female to safety, secured the home and immediately requested a shelter in place for the surrounding area.

The Fort Harrison Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution recognized and presented the awards.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.