Residents, police officers honored by sheriff - WNEM TV 5

Residents, police officers honored by sheriff

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Saginaw County held its annual sheriff's department awards Tuesday, but it wasn't just police officers receiving the accolades.

Some of the smallest members of the community were also recognized for their heroics.

"It's an opportunity to make sure that people are recognized for the good work that they do," Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel said. "I'm telling the world I appreciate you. And I hope it goes a long way because I truly do appreciate each and every one of them."

Kevin Kual was one of three corrections officers presented with the courageous service award. They jumped into action to help a nurse who was attacked by an inmate last October. 

"It's a good feeling, but like I said it's our job. I enjoy doing this," Kual said.

It wasn't just department employees receiving honors. Some of the city's youngest citizens were recognized for their heroic actions over the past year.

"We were just helping someone," Haley Whitman said.

Whitman, along with Isabella Gutzwiller, Nathan Levinson, Elijah Murphy and Lauryn Black earned the community relations award. Police said they noticed a kid in distress wandering through their Freeland neighborhood last month. So they went to get help. Turns out the young boy was reported missing. Thanks to their quick actions, Whitman's group helped to reunite the child with his family.

"You can make a difference with just a little decision and it does feel really good to help. So I'm very proud of all of my friends," Whitman said.

The heroic youngsters got a standing ovation from the crowd, and kudos for a job well done by the sheriff.

"This is what we want. You're the example. You're the leaders of the future. And for me it provides hope," Federspiel said.

There were nine different categories in which officers and citizens received awards.

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