Salt Lake County Deputy Sheriff Eunice Rider was awarded the highest honor of the sheriff's office Thursday.
The Medal of Distinction was given to Rider for her actions during a "man with a gun" call. When she approached the address of the call, she saw a man with a rifle chasing another man across the parking lot in front of the store. The man diverted his attention to Rider and told her to leave or he would shoot. She drove past the man's car to get his license plate number. She later returned to the store to warn customers about the man. By that time, backup officers had arrived and the man was arrested without incident."Eunice put her life on the line twice that morning and in doing so saved the life of one of the citizens of our community," Rider's retired supervisor Sgt. Jack Retallick said.
Deputies Bruce Clements and Doug Walters were awarded the Sheriff's Star for exceptional performance and accomplishments above what is normally expected. The duo captured several armed robbery suspects and confiscated two semiautomatic pistols following a robbery at 7800 South and 1300 East. The arrests came after the pair stopped a car traveling near South Union Ave. and 1300 East.
Salt Lake County Jail officer Jeff Hyde received the Purple Heart after sustaining a fractured jaw while attempting to control a violent inmate.
Seventeen deputies and one clerk received Division Commander's Awards. The recipients were:
Reserve deputies Greg Garcia, Leo Martinez, Chris Bertram, Scott Sterling and Rob Nielsen; Deputies Kevin Matthews, Lonnie Wilson, Merrill Douglas, Tracy Boughn, Ken Cannon, Mike Day and Delwin Craig; Det. Mark Chidester; Sgts. Jim Strong and Dennis Coleman; Lt. Scotty Sinclair; Jail officer Dan Kavanagh; and Corrections Purchasing clerk Jared Davis.
The recipients were given the awards for outstanding performance of duty.
The Team Citation Award was presented to Sgts. Lou Nielsen and Wes Dodd, Cpl. Alex Churchich, and Deputies Reid Brown and Michael Wardle.
The group, all members of the jail transportation team, was given the award for meritorious performance resulting from a combined effort. The deputies transported 16,778 prisoners last year.
Three Salt Lake County women were awarded Citizen Service medals.
Susan Denham, Nancy Hachmeister and her dog Kallie, and Margaret Gregory and her dog Ashley received the medals.
Hachmeister and Gregory are associated with Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs and have assisted search and rescue crews in locating lost hikers and a large Burmese Python named "Julius Squeezer" that escaped from a Holladay home last year.
Denham assisted the county's vice unit in arresting "one of the most dangerous sex offenders deputy sheriffs had ever dealt with," the award presenter said.