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Rotary honors public safety officials
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Members of the Georgia State Patrol and the Gainesville Fire Department pose for a photo after a Rotary Club ceremony in Gainesville on Wednesday. - photo by David Barnes

More than a dozen law enforcement and public safety officials were honored Wednesday by the three rotary clubs of Gainesville and Hall County.

Members from Gainesville Police, Gainesville Fire, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Hall County Fire Services, Georgia State Patrol and University of North Georgia Police gathered at noon Wednesday at the Brenau Downtown Center in Gainesville.

“We gather as representatives of this community to say thank you, Father, for those men and women in law enforcement, fire services, all these different agencies of public safety, for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of laying their lives down in order to make our community safer and for there to be the preservation of life,” Hall County Fire Volunteer Chaplain Mike Taylor said during the invocation.

Those honored included: Jason Pierce, Chris Letson, Brad Raper, Michael Hand, Maricela Del Rio and Chase Trammell of Gainesville Police; Lt. Damon Migliore, Sgt. Damon Gowan, Sgt. Rhodney Myers and Sgt. Justin Blanchard from Hall County Fire Services; Tim Simmons and Alan Payne from Gainesville Fire; Perry Cook and Michael Free from Hall County Sheriff’s Office; Blake Denna from UNG Police; and Rachelle Dhabolt from Hall County 911.

Hall County Fire Chief Jeff Hood told the audience of the events leading to the awards for GSP Cpl. Spencer Munger and Sgt. Auston Allen.

Munger was awarded the Purple Heart Award after a Hall County chase.

“While maneuvering around the vehicle, Cpl. Munger suffered an injury to his right knee,” Hood said. “Cpl. Munger was able to keep the subject detained until other units arrived to assist in handcuffing the subject.”

Munger needed two separate surgeries following the incident, Hood said.

Allen received the Valor Award following a June 2016 chase during the Operation Rolling Thunder multi-agency traffic event.

“During the confrontation, the subject attempted to drown Sgt. Allen in the creek where they were located. Sgt. Allen had to use deadly force to save his own life,” Hood said.

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