• 45°

Veteran and young officers accept Rotary Club awards

Honored

John-Joseph DeGraff

Benjamin Freeze

Bethany Stotts

Heather White

Kevin Peoples

Marielle Hare

Robert Benton

Jason Verbeke

Bradford Jordan

Staff report

SALISBURY — Ten public servants in law enforcement, fire and rescue accepted plaques Tuesday as the Salisbury Rotary Club held its Community Service Recognition Day.

Sgt. Roger Mendenhall recognized honorees from the State Highway Patrol:

• Young Trooper: John-Joseph C. DeGraff came to Rowan from Surry County. In his first year, when he was involved in training, he logged 20 DWI arrests, 148 collision reports and 137 calls for service.

• Veteran Trooper: Trooper Benjamin Freeze, a graduate of South Rowan High School, has been with the patrol for eight years. Last year, he logged 72 DWIs, 191 collisions and 325 calls. He trained DeGraff.

Chris Soliz named honorees from Rowan County Emergency Services:

• Young Paramedic: Bethany Stotts has made an outstanding impression on her peers, actively supports the organization, and is a committed and reliable member of the Rowan EMS team.

• Veteran Paramedic: Capt. Heather White has 13 years of experience and many credentials and has fulfilled several roles at the agency, including pioneering a health and safety committee.

Sheriff Kevin Auten presented the top officers at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office:

• Young Deputy: Kevin Peoples, who went to North Rowan and Salisbury High schools, worked in the jail four years before joining the patrol in 2017. In one year, he made 26 drug arrests and found a fugitive from Georgia and a stolen $35,000 U-Haul, among many other things. Of the 67 reports he worked on, 38 were cleared by arrests and 21 by other means.

• Veteran Deputy: Sgt. Marielle Hare, an East Rowan graduate, works on the administrative staff in the detention center. “She runs the jail for the captain,” Auten said. He read from a brief essay Hare submitted, which ended with this: “I do believe that changing the world starts at home with your children.”

Chief Bob Parnell recognized award recipients from the Salisbury Fire Department, nominated from within the ranks and chosen by an outside committee:

• Justin Monroe Rookie Firefighter: Robert Benton received his education and training in Kentucky and moved to this area in 2016. He’s known for his consistency, teamwork and can-do attitude and has leadership qualities, Parnell said. He is a fire control Specialist 2.

• Vic Isler Veteran Firefighter: Jason Verbeke, also a fire control Specialist 2, is from Michigan and joined Salisbury Fire in 2013. He always comes to work with a positive attitude and best exemplifies the true meaning of brotherhood, Parnell said.

Police Chief Jerry Stokes recognized award winners from the Salisbury Fire Department:

• Young Officer: Detective Devin Barkalow has been with the department since 2015, starting out on patrol and becoming a narcotics detective in April 2017. Putting in long hours and showing dedication, he has seized thousands of dollars worth of illegal drugs, Stokes said. He serves on the federal ATF task force to reduce gun violence countywide.

• Veteran Master Police Officer: Brad Jordan, a 30-year veteran of the force, is considered “a traffic god” by fellow officers when it comes to crash investigations and is an expert in court on traffic reconstructions, Stokes said. He’s reliable and the type of cop every chief wants. “I want an entire team of Brad Jordans,” Stokes said. Jordan retired in December but still works as a reserve officer.

Comments

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18