Porter County Sheriff's Department


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Officer Matt Edwards Honored

Valpo chamber honors local heroes

VALPARAISO: Designees tout teamwork as the real success
BY PHIL WIELAND
This story ran on nwitimes.com on Friday, September 15, 2006 12:13 AM CDT

VALPARAISO | Emergency workers don't consider themselves to be heroes, but several were singled out for the honor Thursday at the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce Percolator Club luncheon.

Individuals selected for the honor by their departments included: Judy Myers, an 18-year Porter Emergency Medical Services for member; Tom Clements, lead instructor for the Community Emergency Response Training program of the Porter County Emergency Management Agency; Porter County Sheriff's Department Deputy Matt Edwards, and Cpl. Michael Grennes, community and media relations person for the Valparaiso Police Department.

Also honored was the Valparaiso Fire Department. Fire Chief David Nondorf said the department is very much a team effort and, while individual acts were among the possible choices, it was impossible to choose just one person.

In accepting the award for the firefighters, Jeff Lawly, president of Firefighters Association Local 1124, said the atmosphere is like being in a family because they spend 24 hours together at a time.

"If nothing else, we can be a dysfunctional family," Lawly said. "It's like Thanksgiving with the in-laws every three days. People call us when they can't think of who else to call. We tend to be the problem solvers, and sometimes we come up with solutions nobody likes."

The team spirit of all the emergency services was the theme of remarks by each of the recipients. Myers accepted the award on behalf of the other 40-plus people she works with in the EMS department saying, "I'm no better than anyone else I work with."

Chief Sheriff's Deputy David Lain said Edwards' accomplishments during the past year included being involved in the arrest of a crack dealer during which shots were fired and Edwards was wounded by shrapnel.

"Matt has what I like to call a fire in his belly to get the job done, but he would rather face a burglar in a dark alley than you folks," Lain said.

Valparaiso Police Chief Michael Brickner said, for the department to be successful, it must have a good partnership and relationship with the community, and Grennes has been instrumental in developing outreach programs that go beyond those of any other community.

 

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