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Ceremony honors Georgia heroes
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FORSYTH — Gov. Sonny Perdue has announced the recipients of the Governor’s Public Safety Awards during a ceremony in Forsyth, recognizing 13 public safety professionals for acts of heroism and six for contributions to the profession.
The recipients were given medallions and their names were added to the GPSA monument at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
“Georgia’s Constitution clearly states that protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government,” Perdue said. “The heroic individuals that we recognize today have upheld this standard and represent the best of Georgia’s law enforcement officers and emergency first responders. It is an honor to present these awards commending them for their bravery and commitment to service that keeps all of us safe.”
The annual GPSA program began in 1998 to recognize the outstanding accomplishments and commitment of Georgia’s public safety community.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to Georgia’s public safety professionals who risk their lives daily and sacrifice time away from their families to protect our citizens,” J. Dale Mann, GPSA committee chairman and GPSTC director, said.
The GPSA program recognizes public safety professionals in the following two categories:
• Act of heroism: Recognizes those who performed an exceptional deed which resulted in saving lives and/or protecting property.
• Outstanding contribution which enhanced the profession: Job performance which had an overwhelming positive affect on the overall profession.
Personnel from each discipline of public safety, as well as state employees with public safety authority, were eligible to receive the award. Nominations were submitted by local governments, state agencies, associations, police departments, sheriff’s offices, correctional facilities, fire departments, 9-1-1 communications, emergency medical services and emergency management agencies.
Recipients of the 2007 Governor’s Public Safety Awards are as follows:

Heroism Recipients
• Michael J. LeBlanc, officer, Clayton County Police Department
• Elgin L. Scott, officer, Clayton County Police Department
• J. Kelly McLendon, captain, Polk County Sheriff’s Office
• Dan Stephens, sergeant first class, Georgia State Patrol
• Blake Swicord, corporal, Georgia State Patrol
• Scott Jeter, trooper first class, Georgia State Patrol
• Daniel Shawn Clark, ranger first class, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
• Daniel D. Stone, warden of Rogers State Prison, Georgia Department of Corrections
• Tony Taylor, sergeant, Georgia Department of Corrections
• Carl Petty, correctional officer II, Georgia Department of Corrections
• Wade Chancey, sergeant, Georgia Department of Corrections
• Mark Bowen, correctional officer II, Georgia Department of Corrections
• Alfonza Hagan, special agent, Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Contribution to Profession Recipients
• James M. Meriweather, technical/operations officer, Muscogee County Prison
• Thomas Wayne Tyree, fire chief/EMA director, Pike County
 Emergency Services and EMA
• Willie M. Neal, patrolman, Griffin Police Department
• Ralph E. Sheppard, captain, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
• Ronnie Garrett, firefighter, Lee County Fire Department
• Dr. Archie W. Rainey, executive director, Georgia Law Enforcement Command College
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