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Park Police Officers Receive Awards at Public Safety Awards

Officer Derrick Williams and Acting Sergeant Keith Gentry received awards for valor and service to the community at the 40th Annual Public Safety Awards Luncheon. Officer Derrick Williams was awarded the Bronze Medal of Valor for Life Saving. Officer Williams responded to the scene of a single car accident at a Shell gas station. Upon arrival, two of three occupants had been removed from the vehicle. The driver, however, was trapped in the car. While attempting to remove the occupant, the car caught fire. Officer Williams quickly retrieved two fire extinguishers from the trunk of his cruiser and from the gas station. With the assistance of a citizen, Officer Williams battled and suppressed the fire while the engine compartment was fully engulfed in flames. They prevented the fire from spreading until the fire department arrived. The fire department was delayed due to a second accident further down Cherry Hill Road. Once the fire department responded, the driver was freed from the car. The driver and the two juvenile passengers were expected to fully recover from their injuries.

Acting Sergeant Keith Gentry was awarded the Donald A. Deering Community Service Award. Since 2010, Acting Sergeant Gentry has been a dedicated volunteer in the program known as the Honor Flight Network. Honor Flight is a non-profit organization created in 2005 to honor American veterans for all of their sacrifices. They transport veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their national memorials. Top priority is given to World War II survivors, along with veterans who are terminally ill. Veterans are flown in from all over the United States free-of-charge. Most arrive at BWI Airport. Acting Sergeant Gentry’s role in Honor Flight includes being the coordinator of the group that provides motorcycle escorts for the veterans from the airport to the World War II Memorial. The escorts add something extra special to the veterans’ journey. Veterans have no idea the escorts are there to greet them until they arrive and see a fleet of motorcycles, sometimes 25 deep. In 2013, Acting Sergeant Gentry and his team participated in 65 escorts, delivering 3,011 World War II veterans to see their memorial. The escorts take place every weekend from March to mid-November with a few escorts on weekdays. Each escort is often five hours long, which allows the escort team members to spend quality time with the veterans. Acting Sergeant Gentry dedicated 265 hours of his own time and traveled over 2,700 miles on his own motorcycle in support of the Honor Flight in 2013.

Chief DeVaul and Ofc. Williams
Officer Derrick Williams receives
Bronze Medal of Valor for Life Saving Award.

A. Sgt. Keith Gentry
Acting Sergeant Keith Gentry receives
Community Service Award.



Date of last update: March 26, 2014