The Sons of the American Revolution honored two police officers and a deputy sheriff on Saturday, Dec. 10, at their annual commendation ceremony at the Belle Haven Country Club.
Deputy Sheriff Teneka King was awarded the American Revolution Heroism Award for demonstrating courage and disregard for her personal safety during an incident on October 2, 2010. Deputy King was off duty and traveling westbound on Interstate 64. A vehicle approached her car driving at excessive speeds and tailgating. The vehicle passed Deputy King. The driver lost control, struck a median and the car flipped over. It crashed into a barrier on the opposite side of the road. The front of the car burst into flames as Deputy King approached. She pulled the passenger from the car and away from the burning vehicle. She returned to the car to free the driver. She pulled the driver from the car and fell into a ditch with her. Aided by a passerby, she was able to pull the driver away from the vehicle just before it exploded.
Officer Anton Keith was awarded the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal for his heroic actions on July 20, 2011. Officer Keith was on the top level of the Police Department’s parking garage when he encountered an unknown man. He questioned the man who gave vague answers. Officer Keith checked with Virginia and National Criminal Information Systems and found the man was not wanted and told him he was free to leave. As the man was leaving, Officer Keith noticed a small stack of the man’s personal items. He began to question the man about the items. Without warning, the man ran across the garage toward the wall. Officer Keith pulled him back just as the man had his arm and leg on the wall preparing to jump five stories. He took the man into custody and, while examining his personal items, found a suicide note. The man later told officers he had been trying to build up the nerve to jump for thirty minutes when Officer Keith found him.
Sergeant Robyn Nichols was awarded the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal in recognition of her 24 years of distinguished service with the Alexandria Police Department. Sergeant Nichols served in many units throughout her career. Since 2003, she has provided exceptional service as the Violent Crimes sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Section. During her time as Violent Crimes sergeant, she has supervised all homicide investigations. She has become a source of institutional knowledge and history for all major crimes. When an arrest is made in a case, Sergeant Nichols follows through with witnesses, court appearances and testimony. In many cases, she has provided transportation, clothing and meals for witnesses at her own expense. After a brutal rape case, she provided the victim with clothing and money and helped her gain admittance to a nearby military school. Sergeant Nichols also serves as a mentor to children in the City.
Among the commendations were Police Officer of the Year, Corrections Officer of the Year, Civilian Employee of the Year, Life Saving Awards and Valorous Conduct Awards.
Forest Shields was named Police Officer of the Year. He was the first officer on scene during an incident on June 7, 2010, in which two people stole a vehicle at gunpoint and tried to ram his patrol vehicle.
Officials said he tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the situation and assisted a wounded passenger after another officer shot the armed suspect. Shields also testified at a coroner’s inquest.
Shields has been with the Henderson force for five of his 15 years as a police officer and is assigned to north division.
Receiving the Investigator of the Year award was Detective David Rowlett, a member of the Criminal Apprehension Team Task Force.
Rowlett assisted homicide detectives investigating the slaying of a man whose body was found on Eastern Avenue. After detectives arrested one suspect and had exhausted all their leads in finding a second suspect, Rowlett was called in to help. He pursued alternate leads that led to the second suspect, officials said.