Well done

Published 8:17 pm Saturday, March 30, 2013

Folks attending an annual police department awards ceremony on Thursday received a great treat as they watched a true Suffolk hero receive a commendation as Suffolk’s Officer of the Year.

Officer James Winslow received that honor and also was awarded the Medal of Valor during the ceremony for the way he courageously fought to protect and hold onto his service weapon in the midst of a brutal beating by a felon he had stopped on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle on May 19 last year. If not for Winslow’s actions to protect the firearm while the offender fell upon him and fought Winslow for the weapon, the felon might have taken it and then used it against the other police officers who responded to search for him after he had run into the woods along Nansemond Parkway.

Winslow’s actions came at great personal cost. He spent more than two weeks in the hospital, and in the early hours after the attack, there was some reasonable doubt that he would survive the horrendous assault. Since that morning, Winslow has been subjected to numerous surgeries to repair the bones broken in his face, restore his eyesight and return him to service. He continues to suffer debilitating problems from his injuries.

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Recently Winslow has returned to work at the police department, working light duty in the criminal intelligence unit. His colleagues are legitimately proud to see him back on the job, and his family is understandably grateful for the outpouring of support from the community, for the work of the doctors who saved his life and are restoring his health and for the miracle that kept him alive when his survival seemed so unlikely.

Winslow exemplifies the very best of what Suffolk’s police officers stand for. He deserves both of the honors he received on Thursday, and he deserves the greatest respect and gratitude of the citizens of Suffolk.

Well done, Officer Winslow.