Carter Weaver, Sheriff of Georgetown County, named employees of the year and the quarter during a ceremony recently at the sheriff’s office.
DEPUTY OF THE YEAR
A.J. Kohut, school resource officer at Waccamaw High School. Kohut was also named Deputy of the Quarter.
TELE-COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR
Katie Harrelson, a dispatcher since 2013. Tele-communicator of the Quarter is Kim Baxley, CAD administrator.
CORRECTIONS OFFICER OF THE YEAR
John Maloney, cited for his extraordinary concern for the well-being of his co-workers and inmates. The Corrections Officer of the Quarter is Corporal Bridgette Rine.
Also recognized during the ceremony was Corporal Joseph Kosydar and K-9 Blitz for their roles in capturing a robbery suspect who abandoned his car and fled into woods.
DEPUTY OF THE YEAR, QUARTER
Employees attending the awards presentation were told Deputy Kohut was instrumental in assisting the recent homicide investigation on Martin Luther King Drive. In his capacity as school resource officer, Deputy Kohut’s function is to protect and serve the students under his watch. Deputy Kohut does this with a passion, and his students are aware of such, his nominator said. As a result, those who attend his school are very familiar and comfortable with him as a deputy and a person.
A homicide occurred at approximately 9 o’clock on the evening of Dec. 11, 2019. At 7 a.m. the next day, no suspects had been positively identified.
Deputy Kohut arrived at school on Dec. 12, 2019, with little knowledge of the event. Soon after his arrival, a student came to him and said the perpetrator was a student presently at school. Deputy Kohut immediately contacted the Criminal Investigations Division of the sheriff’s office and as a result of this information, suspects were arrested.
Deputy Kohut’s passion for his position and the rapport he has developed with his students dramatically expedited solution of the case, his nominator said.
TELE-COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR
Dispatcher Harrelson is very dependable, and she does not hesitate to cover open shifts when additional staffing is needed due to natural disasters, vacation, sick leave or even when someone is running late, according to her supervisor.
She is dedicated to her job and doesn’t make excuses, her nominator said. She had no issue stepping into a temporary lead position when her leader was out on medical leave.
Harrelson has been Employee of the Quarter twice. “She is a great asset to our team, and we are very lucky and proud of have her,” her supervisor said. “I hope he is here until she retires.”
TELE-COMMUNICATOR OF THE QUARTER
Baxley has been with Central Dispatch since 2008. She became lead tele-communicator in 2010 and held that position until 2017 when she became CAD administrator working on the computer system along with other duties. She recently completed Central Dispatch’s audit with SLED. With all her duties, Baxley is still willing to help with dispatch when needed.
CORRECTIONS OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Officer John Maloney was recently named Officer of the Quarter for his outstanding overall performance which was recognized not only during that particular quarter but throughout 2019. Since his recognition he has continued to demonstrate what it means to be committed not only to his career but life in general which has resulted in being named this year’s Correctional Officer of the Year.
Officer Maloney can be best described as a selfless, thoughtful, supportive, and committed individual who puts others first while putting his own challenges on hold, his supervisor said. He has extraordinary concern about the well-being of his co-workers and inmates which has been proven time and time again by the support and assistance he provides.
When dealing with the inmates, even the worst of the worst, he doesn’t care if they are guilty or not. Being fair and impartial are his main concerns, and he is rewarded with the respect he receives. Moods are calm and mellow while he is working because of his customer service mentality versus an “I will break you” mentality. It has been proven time and time again by Officer Maloney of his belief of making inmates feel safe and showing he cares is of the utmost importance.
Officer Maloney’s attention to detail and loyalty to the Detention Center is also outstanding, according to his supervisors. He goes out of his way for the betterment of the facility by striving to display exceptional performance and utilizes those time to time mishaps as fuel to boost his motivation. His inspiration reflects on his co-workers and motivates them to strive to make the best of every situation and always push forward to fulfill the mission.
CORRECTIONS OFFICER OF THE QUARTER
Corporal Rine was selected as a result of her decisive thinking and actions which potentially saved the life of an inmate who was attempting to commit suicide.
The incident occurred during the evening hours of Oct. 10, 2019, when a newly admitted inmate who was housed in the temporary holding unit planned his attempt by inconspicuously shredding a sheet and tying each shred end to end to create a makeshift rope. The inmate tucked the material into his clothing for concealment so he could make his way to the top tier of the unit. After tying the end to the top rail, the inmate climbed over and dropped.
Corporal Rine responded to the call for assistance and entered the unit first and immediately grabbed the inmate, lifting him up, and holding him to relieve the pressure from his neck thereby preventing the inmate from accomplishing his goal. With the assistance of the nurse, they were able to remove the sheet from around his neck and safely secure the inmate until the arrival of EMS.
CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION
Deputies were advised of a strong armed robbery in the city of Georgetown on Oct. 14, 2019, at approximately 4 p.m. A white pickup truck fitting the description of the suspect vehicle was spotted on South Fraser Street. The driver refused to stop for blue lights and siren, turning onto Corner Loop and fleeing into the woods.
Cpl. Kosydar responded with K-9 Blitz. They entered the woods along with cover officers. Within minutes Kosydar and Blitz located the suspect hiding beside a fallen tree. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.
“Due to the dedication and passion of Cpl. Kosydar and his desire to maintain high standards of training with K-9 Blitz the suspect was taken into custody, bringing a fast resolution to a potentially dangerous situation,” his supervisor said.