Christmas Banquet Brings Hundreds Together and Honors Service | Community Spirit
With the holiday season in full swing, with crowded stores and cooler temperatures; the Richland County Sheriff’s Department looked beyond the lights and presents and took time out to come together with family and friends tonight and honored those that serve our communities and citizens.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the Annual Christmas Banquet is an opportunity for the Department’s employees and their families to come together and celebrate the holidays and the successes of the Department this last year. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that he is extremely proud of all sworn and non-sworn employees and volunteers who make the Richland County Sheriff’s Department a great place to work and one that is truly “Building Unity in the Community”.
The Sheriff added that every person at the Sheriff’s Department deserves to be honored for their commitment and professionalism to our communities. He stated that everyone works extremely hard to make Richland County a better place to work, live and play. Several people were recognized tonight for their service, but the most significant was the presentation to Deputy Reginald Grant who was recognized as the 2012 Deputy of the Year.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that Deputy Grant was recognized because he is a hero and exemplifies everything a police officer should strive to be -- committed, professional and courageous in the face of danger. Deputy Grant is a family man with three small children and is known by his peers to be dedicated to making Richland County a better place to live, work and play. Deputy Grant is recognized by his supervisors for his abilities to pursue justice for those we are sworn to serve and for striving to find solutions for issues facing our communities.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that Reginald Grant is assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division where he works professionally every day on different types of issues facing our neighborhoods. The Region that he is assigned sees a range of concerns from domestic abuse to community drug and prostitution issues and property crimes.
The Sheriff added that with all of the great attributes that Deputy Grant is known for and for the commitment he has to making our communities safer, on July 5, 2012 he did not know that he would be in a fight for his life; while proactively patrolling a local community known for drugs and prostitution.
While checking property around 4:00 AM, Deputy Grant observed a suspicious person in a parking lot inside a pickup truck. When the suspect (Keith Durham) spotted Deputy Grant he got out of his truck and began yelling at and pounding on a hotel room door. Deputy Grant approached Durham and noticed drug paraphernalia hanging from his pocket; also noticing that Durham was extremely nervous. As Deputy Grant made contact with Durham, he punched and shoved away from Deputy Grant and fled on foot – without regard for his own safety Deputy Grant immediately gave chase.
As Durham fled he tossed a plastic bag and then took another swing at Deputy Grant – at the same time he was able to get Deputy Grant’s tazer from him. As Durham yelled at Grant that he would not go back to jail, Durham deployed the tazer on Deputy Grant hitting him in the leg. With his life in the balance, Deputy Grant fought off Durham and was able to draw his weapon and stop the threat against himself and the community.
With a history of drugs, robbery, domestic violence and assault, Durham was infecting our communities. He was poisoning our neighborhoods with drugs and a danger to our citizens.
Deputy Grant does what every police officer does each day – he puts on the uniform to protect, serve and improve the quality of life for our citizens. Yet on July 5, 2012, Deputy Grant proactively and aggressively was patrolling our business and residential community searching for the bad guys that threaten us. Deputy Grant searched out danger and he found it square in his face – he was punched, fought and tazed by a man desperate to commit crime, not go back to jail and trying to take Deputy Grant’s life.
The simple fact is that Deputy Reginald Grant placed himself in extreme danger in pursuit of taking the bad guys off our streets. He committed himself to investigating criminal activity and finding justice for our community. Deputy Grant was working at righting a wrong and in the process put himself on the line to rid our communities to an extremely dangerous situation.
Police officers train rigorously and try to prepare themselves for whatever their job will bring them each day. However, many officers never have the opportunity to save someone life’s and unfortunately some fail to react to chaos that emerges. Deputy Grant rose to the occasion and became a hero to a community and department. He exemplifies everything a police officer should strive to be; committed and professional.