It was a pleasant surprise for all involved.
The American Legion Crook County Post 29 was looking for a local candidate to nominate for the organization's law enforcement officer of the year for the state of Oregon.
Crook County Undersheriff James Savage wanted to nominate whom he felt was a deserving candidate.
Though both parties felt Sgt. Jacob Childers was worthy of the nomination, neither necessarily expected the American Legion to choose him.
But they did.
"I was notified sometime in May that he was selected for the state (award)," Savage recalls.
Childers joined the Crook County Sheriff's Office staff in 2015. The new member of the team, who came to Crook County after nearly 11 years with the Bellevue Police Department in Washington, made a strong impact early in his local tenure.
Savage notes that Childers spent about seven years in the U.S. Air Force before joining the Bellevue force, where he was a member of its SWAT team for several years. When he came to Crook County, he got very involved in their training and changing policy within the agency.
"He has done some outstanding things here," Savage noted. "He did an assessment for the Paulina school. He has done a bunch of training and enhanced our casualty care and trauma for our patrol cars and our staff."
Childers taught his colleagues how to treat gunshot wounds on others or themselves and created a policy for carrying tourniquets.
"We all carry them now," Savage said. "Within a couple months (of enacting the policy), he deployed a tourniquet on a guy on a crash where a guy had almost severed his leg. He saved the guy's life."
Savage went on to say that Childers is a good leader and a good person who cares about the community he serves.
"He has brought up the bar in a lot of areas," he added. "He is very worthy."
The American Legion agreed and gave Childers a state award that only goes out to one law enforcement officer and one firefighter statewide.
Dennis Helms, the Crook County Post 29 commander, was pleased to see the organization honor a community member with a statewide award.
"It's nice to see one of our own get the award," he remarked.
On June 27, Childers attended an American Legion state event where they honored award recipients. Savage and Sheriff John Gautney joined him at the event. Childers was not only presented with the award, he was recognized a second time during a banquet that followed.
This past Wednesday, local American Legion representatives and Crook County Sheriff's Office leaders honored Childers yet again with a small ceremony in front of the CCSO building.
Childers said he was honored to receive the recognition and expressed his gratitude for the Crook County community as well as his law enforcement employers past and present.
"I have been so fortunate to work for two great departments," he said.
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