Gwinnett Chamber Awards Norcross Police Officer with Silver Medal of Valor Award for Bravery at Valor Awards Ceremony
The Gwinnett Chamber and Presenting Sponsors Mobile Communications of Gwinnett and Motorola recently hosted its Valor Awards, which pays tribute to Gwinnett’s public safety professionals, including firefighters, police and emergency personnel. The ceremony includes the presentation of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal of Valor, Lifesaving Award, Public Safety Person of the Year, Public Safety Unit of the Year, Communications Officer of the Year and the Purple Heart.
The city of Norcross is proud to announce that one of its very own, City of Norcross Police Officer Joseph Harkleroad, was awarded the Silver Medal of Valor. This is one of the highest awards for bravery and heroism and is bestowed in cases where the public safety official knowingly placed his/her/their life/lives in peril of death or serious bodily harm while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
Officer Harkleroad was recognized for his extreme act of bravery during an incident involving a police chase with Gwinnett County Police Unit driven by Sgt. Morales. While at the intersection of Jimmy Carter Blvd. and Brook Hollow Parkway, Officer Harkleroad noticed the Gwinnett County police unit attempting to pull over a vehicle with a flat tire. Knowing the officer would need backup, Officer Harkleroad activated his blue lights and joined the pursuit. While attempting to flee, the suspect’s car catapulted into the air after striking the guard rail and became engulfed in flames. Upon investigating the scene, Officer Harkleroad, with the assistance of Gwinnett County Police Department Officer Begtar, was able to cut the seatbelt and pull the suspect from the vehicle. After pulling the suspect away from the burning vehicle and extinguishing the driver’s clothes that were burning, it was determined that the driver was deceased.
The city of Norcross is beyond grateful for Officer Harkleroad’s extreme acts of bravery to keep Norcross safe. It is because of his efforts and the many other highly trained public safety professionals that Norcross remains a safe place to live, work and play.