The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum (NLEMM) has announced that the March 2021 Officers of the Month are Deputy Royce James, Volusia County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department, and Officer Ron Craig, Lake Township (Ohio) Police Department. Following are accounts from each officer’s case.
Ohio cop helps tech-troubled elderly sign up for COVID-19 vaccine.
Officer Ron Craig was selected Officer of the Month for his service to the community in assisting senior citizens who don’t have access to technology get their COVID-19 vaccines.
As the community policing officer in Lake Township, OH, Craig knew that getting on the list for a COVID-19 vaccine could be both challenging and time-consuming. After hearing that some of the older residents were having an even harder time than others with scheduling appointments, Craig decided to take action.
Several older locals didn’t have a smart phone or a computer to make appointments. With the approval of Lake Township Chief Mark Hummer and the help of the Wood County Health Department, Craig was able to coordinate appointments within days. He has already helped approximately 150 people receive vaccines.
According to WTVG, one of the locals thanked Craig in person for his help. After losing his wife to cancer last year, Craig said that this project has been good medicine for his soul. Craig has been in law enforcement since 1974; he has served as a paramedic for 40 years and a firefighter for more than 20 years.
Volusia County Deputy rescues missing girl, 13, found in motel room with man she met online.
Deputy Royce James was recognized for his dedication in tracking down a young girl who had been lured to a motel room by a 22-year-old man. On February 18, 2021, the child’s grandmother said that she failed to be at her basketball game and didn’t return home afterwards. James’ detective work led him to discover that the girl had planned to meet up with a person she had met online. All he had to go on was that the man’s name started with a T, possibly Tyler, and that he was from Orlando.
James went to multiple motels in the area searching for the 13-year-old girl, showing the front desk clerks her photo and examining the day’s check-ins for a match. Finally, at the third motel, James noticed a guest checked in under the name Tyler Thompson with an Orlando address.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, after James found the girl unharmed, she ran into his arms and gave him a hug. The girl asked James to stay with her when told she’d be taken somewhere to be medically cleared and interviewed. He took her to a local Department of Children and Families facility for evaluation, and then took her home.
“We would like to first congratulate Deputy James and Officer Craig for this award, as well as thank them for their selfless service to their communities,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “Their bravery and willingness to serve others is an inspiration and we are so grateful for the opportunity to once again highlight the incredible things that members of law enforcement are doing.”
The Officer of the Month Award Program is sponsored by the Police Unity Tour and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.