Staunton names government employee of year

Item by Chris Graham

A Staunton sheriff’s deputy has been named the city government’s employee of the year for 2007.

Darrell W. Carter Jr., a 17-year veteran of the department, was honored for his actions last summer in saving a young child from falling off a fourth-floor motel balcony.

“Deputy Carter didn’t have to think about it. There was an emergency. He could do something, so he did,” city manager Steve Owen said at a Wednesday ceremony. “By caring, by quickly taking the initiative, he may have saved the life of a little boy. We are delighted and proud that he is a city employee.”

Police dispatchers had been called to the Howard Johnson’s on Central Avenue last July to a report of a child playing alone on the fourth-floor balcony. The person who made the 911 call said that the child had climbed to the top of the balcony railing.

Carter happened to be nearby on other duties and overheard the call. He made it to the fourth-floor walkway and was able to grab the 4-year-old before he fell to the concrete below.

“His actions and his commitment to his community reflect well on the sheriff’s department, and on all other Staunton city employees,” Owen said.

The employee-of-the-year honor netted Carter a $1,000 savings bond and an extra week of vacation.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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