Hanahan -- Charleston County sheriff's Deputy Jeff DeGrow received a standing ovation Monday night when he rose to accept an Award of Valor at the annual awards dinner of the Tri-County Lodge #3 of the Fraternal Order of Police.
DeGrow was shot six times Jan. 21 while investigating a burglary. Also recognized was Charleston County dispatcher April Grant, who kept cool on the radio that day.
Also receiving a standing ovation was Dorchester County sheriff's Deputy Andy Martin, who on Jan. 9 had to shoot an armed man who was threatening to shoot himself or others. After he shot the man, Martin rushed to his side and administered first aid, but the man died. Martin was honored with an Award of Valor.
Lance Cpl. R. A. Strickland of the S.C. Highway Patrol's Troop 6 also was given an Award of Valor. In August, he tried to stop a vehicle for speeding. The driver fled, leading Strickland on a chase that ended when the driver plowed into a church. Strickland pulled the driver from the burning vehicle.
Other units from the Charleston County Sheriff's Office presented with Awards of Merit were: the K-9 unit, comprised of Lt. Kevin Whited, Sgt. Ransom Williams and Deputies Mason Ashby, James Brennan, Daniel Caulfield, Jay Christmas and Jay Zealberg, for the improvements made to the unit in 2009; and the D-Squad, comprised of Sgt. Scott Rywelski and Deputies Anthony Whisenant, James Thomas, Chad Barton and Mark Schreffler, for their work in apprehending four suspects in two violent home invasion robberies in November.
Awards of Merit also went to Summerville Patrolman John Hoff for cracking a rash of auto break-in cases in November and Summerville Detective Cpl. Shannon Sharp, who handled three homicide investigations in 2009, including a homicide by child abuse case in November.
North Charleston Patrolmen Chris Hollowell, Robert Joyner and Jonathan Lawrence, also were honored with Awards of Merit; Hollowell, for saving the life of a woman who was in respiratory arrest in June; Joyner for saving the life of an employee at a school who was choking on a piece of food in the lunchroom in September; and Lawrence for making more than 90 DUI arrests in 2009.
An Award of Merit also went to Navy Chief Petty Officer David Folsom, who donated more than 1,100 hours as a reserve police officer in Summerville. Harold G. Isgett, who retired from the Hanahan Police Department in 2009, was given an Award of Lifetime Achievement, while an Award of Recognition was presented to professor Gerald M. Finkel.
Cpl. Kenneth Billings of the Walterboro Department of Public Safety, got an Award of Merit for turning a routine traffic stop into the apprehension of a wanted bank robber.
The Member of the Year award went to Bill Lang, a retired New York city police officer. Charleston County sheriff's Sgt. Naomi Morris was given an Award of Appreciation. Both were honored for their service to the lodge.