HANAHAN -- Though they put their lives on the line on a daily basis, the Tri-County Lodge #3 of the Fraternal Order of Police took some time to honor some of its members during an annual awards dinner Monday night.
Sgt. Malanie Darby of the Goose Creek Police Department was given the Award of Valor for assisting a patrolman who had been shot by a suspect on July 19. She risked her own life to protect the patrolman, other officers and medical personnel, according to the FOP.
Also awarded the Award of Valor were Jeremy Ledford and William Janicki, both North Charleston Police patrolmen.
On August 13, Ledford was the first officer to arrive at the scene of a car fully submerged in a retention pond on Rivers Avenue. He jumped in, broke out a rear window and, with the assistance of passers-by, pulled a woman to safety. The woman had no pulse and had stopped breathing, but EMS began CPR and her pulse was restored. The woman later died at the hospital, but Ledford's quick thinking gave her a chance at recovery.
On Dec. 12, Janicki stopped a man from committing suicide by cutting the rope the man had used to hang himself.
Two lodge members, Charleston County Sheriffs' Deputy James Foster and S.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Ernie Lilienthal, were presented with the Award of Lifetime Achievement.
Foster, 76, has been in law enforcement for more than 38 years and in Charleston County since 1986. He was described as "a living legend in the West Ashley area of Charleston County." Lilienthal, 65, has a 44-year career that began in the Charleston Police Department. He's been with the Highway Patrol since 1970 and currently acts as administrative sergeant for the patrol's Troop Six, which serves this region.
Awards of Merit were presented to three members of the Summerville Police Department: Dennis Henderson, a corporal, and Wade Rollings and Chad Faglie, both patrolmen.
Rollings was honored for digging into his own pocket to provide food and medicine for a family of four. Faglie, a field training officer, was honored for the way he and his trainee handled a car stop in November. Henderson was recognized for cracking a string of vehicle break-ins in the Pine Forest County Club neighborhood.
Senior Trooper Z.K. Thompson of the Highway Patrol, North Charleston Police Patrolman Scott Thames and Officer Ricardo Perry of the Hanahan Police Department were also honored with Awards of Merit. Thompson made more than 1,700 cases in 2010 and arrested 26 drivers for DUI. Thames set an example of proactive policing throughout the year. Perry set up a mentoring program for at-risk youth.
The Member of the Year award went to Charleston County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Rywelski and Mike Perillo was given the Award of Appreciation. Both were honored for their service to the lodge.