Public Servants Honored For Heroism & Dedication To Duty

Public Servants Honored For Heroism & Dedication To Duty

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Some of Jefferson County's finest were honored Monday night for their quick action responding to emergencies.

"It all comes down to helping the community," state Trooper Steven Watkins said.

That's how Watkins sees his job as a state trooper.

The community honored him and other public servants at the Watertown American Legion's 52nd annual Law and Order Night.

Watkins was named Outstanding Trooper of the Year for actions such as catching a fugitive while keep children involved safe.

Another patrolman honored was Tyler Hill. He was named Watertown Police Officer of the Year. He gave lifesaving CPR to a baby and helped catch the Rio Nightclub shooter last November.

"Happened to be in the right place at the right time," Hill said, "and a person that looked as if they may had been part of it."

Jeff Froelich was the honoree from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. He put his life on the line to try to save others from a burning vehicle.

"Your training kicks in," he said, "and you just hope that you were paying attention during your training and you have the ability when duty calls."

Duty called for Watertown Firefighter Dan Daugherty when a building collapsed on two of his coworkers. Daugherty was named Firefighter of the Year for when he aided his colleagues hurt in the Newell Street fire last year.

"There were a lot of guys around," Daugherty said. "I feel that this is kind of recognition for them as well as myself."

Then there's the first first responder. Kailey Young was honored for her efforts at the county's 911 dispatch center.

She answered the call the night of the Myrtle Avenue fire that killed five family members.

"Make sure I knew where help needed to go and to be able to speak with the person that needed help the most," she said. "It was a tragic situation, but I couldn't have asked anything better from my coworkers and everybody that we were working with that night."

Ted Nevills was there to help raise money for the fire victims' family. Nevills is a longtime corrections officer who was honored for his career, which includes stress counseling for colleagues and others. 

Nevills is retiring this week after more than 30 years on the job.

"No one does what any of the people here tonight are receiving awards for for any sort of recognition," he said. "I think part of it is in your DNA -- it's your job and it's the right thing to do."

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