Senior Patrol Officer Russell Frierson was honored Friday as Police Officer of the Year at the Charleston Police Department's awards ceremony held at Burke High School.
Frierson, a member of the department's Team 4 Power Squad and its SWAT Team, was nominated by a co-worker and a supervisor, who praised his positive attitude and outlook.
"Never once will you hear a complaint, no matter if he agrees with the situation at hand or not," the letter said. "S.P.O. Frierson takes what is handed to him, positive or negative, and somehow finds a way to make it benefit our squad, the department, and the community around him."
Frierson was one of more than 50 people honored Friday. He received a standing ovation, as did the Citizen of the Year, 20-year-old Caitlin McKee of Johns Island.
On May 27, McKee and her best friend were driving home, McKee in her own car and her friend in another, when her friend's car struck a construction sign, rolled over and burst into flames.
Her friend's car was upside down. She was entangled in the seat belts and the flames were getting closer. McKee put her own life in jeopardy to free her from the burning car.
The ceremony was held at the high school rather than police headquarters so more family members, friends and members of the community could attend.
Police Chief Greg Mullen thanked all of the recipients. State Sen. Robert Ford and state Rep. Wendell Gilliard, both D-Charleston, presented each of the yearly honorees with certificates of recognition from the state Senate and the House of Representatives.
Other recipients of annual awards included:
--Charles Jones, Fleet Service Officer of the Year
--Jeffrey Miller, Forensic Services Technician of the Year
--Dave Malara, Community Service Officer of the Year
--Kelly Martin, Volunteer of the Year
--Rachel Hurlbutt, Civilian of the Year
--Nicole Williams, Dispatcher of the Year
--Team One Power Squad, Team of the Year
--Adam Slizewski, Probationary Officer of the Year