Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is pleased to announce the selection of Police Officer First Class William Halt as the Sons of the American Legion (Squadron 82) Police Officer of the Year for 2019, and Corporal Gregory Champaign as the Sons of the American Legion (Squadron 82) Police Officer of the Year for 2020. Commander David Tatman presented the awards to both officers in front of members of the Command Staff on June 8.
“Although we were unable to present the 2019 award last year due to the pandemic, we wanted to make sure PFC Halt was recognized for his courage,” said Commander Tatman. “We appreciate the work all officers do. We selected PFC Halt and Corporal Champaign due to the extraordinary bravery they displayed during these incidents.”
On June 19, 2019, PFC Halt responded to the area of Berry Road and Buttonbush Drive for the reported motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle. The motorcycle operator was located bleeding severely as the result of an amputated right leg below the knee. PFC Halt immediately applied a tourniquet to the leg to stop the flow of bleeding. The operator was flown to a hospital and survived. An on-scene medic stated the tourniquet likely saved the man’s life. PFC Halt was awarded a Lifesaving Award from the CCSO in 2019 for his actions during this incident.
On April 22, 2020, while units were at a gas station in La Plata for an unrelated call, Cpl. Champaign noticed a male dispensing gasoline fuel over his head and shoulders from the fuel pump.
Upon seeing this, Cpl. Champaign and Officer Roys (La Plata Police Department) ran over to the subject, who was armed with a lighter and attempting to ignite himself on fire in front of the fuel pump. The officers engaged the subject and were able to pull him away from the fuel pump and get the lighter out of his hands. The actions taken by the officers that day undoubtedly saved the life of a troubled citizen, while risking their own personal safety. Due to their heroic actions, both officers were awarded a Bronze Medal of Valor by the CCSO in 2020.
“We appreciate and thank the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 82 for recognizing PFC Halt and Cpl. Champaign with this honor,” said Sheriff Berry. “The men and women of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office make a difference in our community each day, and it is humbling to receive support from local leaders and organizations.”