COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)The Columbus Police Department and the Columbus Consolidated Government highlighted the achievements of department staff at the 2022 annual employee recognition ceremony.

Corporal Kenneth Rammage was named the 2022 Officer of the Year. He witnessed an armed robbery as he was patrolling the area of South Lumpkin Road last month. Rammage says two armed suspects shot an innocent bystander at a gas station, during an attempted robbery. Corporal Rammage was able to chase down the suspects and take them into custody.

Rammage told News 3 he was shocked when he found out he was the 2022 Officer of the Year, but for him it’s about making the streets of Columbus safer for residents.

“Most criminals are going to keep committing crimes. It’s nothing, just a we’re going to at one time. So it’s kind of a reassuring thing that when criminals do get locked up and serve time and hopefully they don’t do these types of acts again.”

Corporal Kenneth Rammage – Officer of the Year

The Employee of the Year for 2022 was Ms. Damekia Anthony. Anthony is an emergency communications tech who took a call, on the other end a mother was about to give birth and was in active labor. She was able to assist virtually when the baby was in distress as the umbilical cord was wrapped around the babies neck.

The department also took a moment of silence in memory of Columbus Police Command Sergeant Richard McMahan who lost his life on October 13, 2021. Lieutenant Robert “Buddy” Taft, Corporal Demetrius Battle, Corporal David Marrero, and Alice Valle were all given a life saving award for their response when Command Sergeant McMahan feel to his knees in distress after a workout. These individuals efforts gave the McMahan family an extra 13 days.

Additional recipients for their quick reactions to life threatening situations are as follows:

Officer Leandra Goodson – Serving since Sept. 2018

Sergeant Andrew Chesser – Serving since March 2003

Officer John O’Neill – Serving since Feb. 2020

Officer Grayson Dutton – Serving since Jan, 2020

Corporal Andrea Hall – Serving since Nov. 2018

Corporal Shawn Harris – Serving since Jan. 2009

Officer Raul Castell – Serving since Aug. 2018

Corporal Justin Doll – Serving since Dec. 2016

Officer Mikael White – Serving since Sep. 2020

Three officers received the Medal of Valor Award, for putting their lives on the line during an active shooter situation.

Sergeant Alicia Hoover, Corporal Alex Jashinski, and Corporal Christopher Snipes responded to a shooting at a Fort Benning Road block party with more than 500 people in attendance. Police Chief Freddy Blackmon says the officers were able to locate two gunshot victims in the chaos and quickly performed CPR and other life-saving measures. Chief Blackmon called the selfless acts brave and courageous.

“It wasn’t determined whether the shooter was still in the crowd or had left. They sacrificed themselves, in this particular situation. These officers’ actions show an unwavering commitment to the citizens of Columbus.”

Freddie Blackmon – Columbus Chief of Police

Two officers were awarded the Meritorious Award, Officer Shaina Miller and Officer Jack McCarty.

Officer McCarthy was able to take a burlary suspect into police custody in Oct. 2021. He has also assisted in many other felony arrests. He was honored for regularly exceeded officers on shift in terms of stats and for his well versed knowledge pertaining to Georgia law and city ordinances.

Officer Miller has been instrumental in in saving an individual from committing suicide in the Chattahoochee River and another individual who called expressing they were depressed and wanted to take their own life. Officer Miller was able to take action with a patient and calm demeanor in both incidents. She is known to take on extra shifts and has assisted the homicide division.