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story.lead_photo.caption From left, this year's nominees for the 2021 G.W. Law award include Sgt. Ryan Stiffler, Deputy Danny O'Rourke, Detective Crystal Kent, Deputy Jacob Muehring, and Deputy Jonathan Bradley. Kent was the chosen recipient of the award due to her dedication at the Fulton Police Department, and her willingness to live by the Rotary Club's motto, "service above self." Photo by Submitted by Mary Ann Beahon

The Fulton Rotary Club honored Detective Crystal Kent at their Wednesday meeting with the G. W. Law Award, an annual honor given to a law enforcement official who exemplifies Rotary's motto of "service above self."

She is the first female to receive the award.

Kent first started out at the Holts Summit Police Department from 2011-14, and since then has been with the Fulton Police Department. Kent has worked as a law enforcement officer in Callaway County for 10 years.

She was nominated by the deparment's Community Behavioral Health Liaison Laura Heitmann.

"I have personally and professionally known Detective Kent since 2014, and I've seen her rise in the ranks of her department, take on increasing responsibilities, and find ways to repeatedly serve her community through her work," Heitmann said in her nomination.

Though Kent is already busy with her position at the department, she also manages training for the department, completes applicant background screenings, serves on the Callaway County treatment court team, leads FPD's Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) to help persons with behavioral health disorders and participates in the Coordinated Community Response Team to help survivors of domestic and sexual assault.

She is also the Statewide/Missouri CIT Training Coordinator where she assists all other areas of the state to develop CIT trainings for First Responders. Lastly, she is an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

Heitmann also noted, "When called upon for extra duties or a need to cover patrol, Crystal always steps up, volunteers and gets the job done. Time and time again I've witnessed her complete these tasks reliably with focus, determination, kindness, professionalism, and integrity. In addition to all of this she has the role of LE wife to Deputy Jordan Kent and mother to daughter, Dawson and son, Wallace. Detective Kent lives the rotary motto of "Service Above Self" in every way. She is incredibly deserving of this award."

Other nominees were Sgt. Ryan Stiffler, Deputy Danny O'Rourke, Deputy Jacob Muehring and Road Deputy Jonathan Bradley. All are from the Callaway County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Ryan Stiffler was nominated Lt. Matthew Palmer. Palmer talks about the comfort Stiffler has brought to the citizen's of Callaway County through the stolen property he has recovered, the criminals he has put away and the dedication and commitment he has to catch and hold criminals accountable.

Sheriff Clay Chism nominated Deputy Danny O'Rourke. O'Rourke was nominated for the countless hours and dedication he has put in from starting as a Reserve Deputy to now as a full-time deputy as the Sheriff's Office Process Server dealing with multiple aspects of the court system.

Deputy Jacob Muehring was nominated by Lt. Curtis Hall.

"Deputy Muehring maintains a great attitude and he is looked up to by other members on his shift and admired by deputies with much more time 'on the job' in at his ability to 'sniff out' criminals," Hall wrote. "More times than not, the proactive arrests that Deputy Muehring makes are criminals that are suspects in existing cases."

Lt. Don Dame nominated Deputy Jonathan Bradley Deputy Bradley is a patrol deputy who primarily works 6 p.m.-6 a.m. He works the overnight shift despite having to miss time with his family at home. But Dame noticed Bradley had a special gift when it game to dealing with people.

"Many times on a call for service, people will gravitate to Bradley because they feel they can talk to him, and the fact he always has a smile on his face, when appropriate of course," he noted. "Bradley's ability to communicate with children is something to be seen, he has a genuine love for children and no matter the situation, children really enjoy being around him. This is especially evident during difficult calls such as domestic disturbances, where the child may have seen something that could've been traumatizing. Bradley always goes out of his way to make the children feel more comfortable, which is sometimes one of the most difficult things to do."

Bradley has been awarded with the opportunity to be the next School Resource Officer for the North Callaway School District after the 2021-22 school year.

Callaway County Ambulance District Director and Chair for the G.W. Law program Charles Anderson presented the award during Rotary's luncheon at Ohana's Pizzeria.

Last year, he had to present the award virtual and was hopeful to return to in-person in 2021.

Law enforcement was invited to Ohana's where they were provided with a friend chicken and all the fixings to celebrate the award along with all the hard work they each do for the community.

The G.W. Law award was established in 1988 in honor of George W. Law, a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Army who was elected Sheriff of Callaway County in 1872. He was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 15, 1873 after being attacked by a mob while transporting a convicted thief to the train station.

"Twenty years ago this week," Anderson said, "the world as we know it was changed forever when extremists attempt on a suicide attack against the United States of America hijacked four commercial airliners, two of which were flown into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. The fourth aircraft destined for the White House crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thanks to the heroic efforts of the passengers on Flight 93 who made the choice to fight back. That day hundreds of emergency responders put their community above themselves and rushed to the World Trade Center."

Continuing, he said 343 fire fighters of the New York City Fire Department, 37 police officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, 23 police officers of the New York City Police Department, 8 EMTs and paramedics of various private ambulance companies, 3 New York State Court Officers and 1 patrolmen of the New York Fire Patrol made the the ultimate sacrifice.

The Callaway County's law enforcement officers never know when they will be called upon to save a life, take a life or lay down their own lives in the line of duty.

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