Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton shakes hands with 7th District Chairman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Police, Fire & EMT Awards Committee and member of V.F.W. Clay City Post No. 6606 Charlie Flack on Tuesday afternoon after being told he is the V.F.W.'s 2006 Law Enforcement Gold Medal Award winner for the State of Indiana.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton is the Veterans of Foreign Wars' 2006 Law Enforcement Gold Medal Award winner for the State of Indiana.
"We chose Sheriff Mike Heaton because we know his background, his history in the community, and felt he would be a good representative for consideration at the state and the national competition levels," 7th District Chairman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Police, Fire & EMT Awards Committee Charlie Flack said. "There will be a banquet at the V.F.W.'s state convention on June 25 in Indianapolis where he will be presented with the actual award at that time, but we just had to announce his winning now."
The members of the V.F.W. established the Law Enforcement Gold Medal Award so the men and women of law enforcement, who gain little public recognition for their dedication and community goodwill, are appreciated and of great value to their local communities and the field of law enforcement across the nation.
Law enforcement officers eligible for award consideration include municipal police officers, county sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, highway patrol officers, Secret Service personnel, Treasury Department personnel and FBI agents.
Officers are judged on the attitude of each nominee towards their duties from the job, their knowledge, diligence and performance of their duties under the law, their compassion for the rights of others, their personal integrity and honor, and their service to the public whom they serve at the local, state and national level.
"It's such a true honor to be selected not only locally but also at the state level," said Sheriff Mike Heaton. He admits to being awed by and having great respect for the other 108 nominees in the competition.
Flack, who has personally known the sheriff for 12 years, said it was Heaton's forthrightness and integrity that impressed the local committee the most. These traits have been shared by many past representatives from the 7th District area that went to the state level, then continued on to the national level.
"It's incredible. Our nominees compete against representatives from some of the largest cities in the state -- Gary, South Bend, Indianapolis -- and win," Flack said. "Just goes to show you the quality of people we have locally in our law enforcement, fire departments and EMTs."