May 17, 2007

State of Alabama
Press Release: Lt. Governor Folsom (2007-11)

Lt. Governor Folsom Praises Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Winner

(Montgomery)  Today, in a joint session of the Alabama legislature, Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom, Jr. recognized Marine Resources Office John Thomas Jenkins as the winner of the 2007 Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement.  Seventeen public safety officers representing multiple agencies were nominated for the award.

Major Jenkins is employed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and, according to Folsom, performed heroically during the early hours of Hurricane Katrina.

“Major Jenkins and his men led efforts that saved the lives of more than 30 people during the worst part of Hurricane Katrina.” said Folsom. “Efforts like these by Major Jenkins and others are the primary reason that Alabama did not suffer a single fatality during one of the worst Hurricanes of the century.”

As the Hurricane strengthened, Major Jenkins went to the Bayou La Batre Police station so that he would be in a position to assist when needed. As the water rose in an 18 foot surge, and with winds raging at over 100 miles per hours, a distress call was received from an expectant mother who was trapped with her five children in fast-rising water.

Major Jenkins and his men brought a small boat to the area – dodging torrential rain, severe thunderstorms, and fallen trees to get there.  When they arrived at the home they found the mother standing in waist deep water holding an infant in one arm and a two year old in the other.  The other three children were standing on a table in water up to their knees.

The mother and two smaller children were placed in a boat – but there was not room for the other three children. Major Jenkins volunteered to stay behind – and comfort the other children as the waters rose.  He stayed there until a rescue boat arrived.

“Major Jenkins exhibited uncommon valor, unselfish commitment to his fellow citizens, and leadership in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and circumstances.” added Folsom.

Other Nominees for the award were:

  • Brad Edmondson – Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department

  • Officer Ray Edward – Madison Police Department

  • Officer C.L. Paige – Tuscaloosa Police Department

  • Sgt. R.O. Payson – Montgomery Police Department

  • Officer Chip Reynolds – Hartselle Police Department

  • Lt. Mike Reese – ABC Control Board, Montgomery

  • Officer William Keith Robinson – Florence Police Department

  • Officer William Stanford – Birmingham Police Department

  • Officer Joe Taylor – Elberta Police Department

  • Lt. Carlos Thompson – Mobile County Sheriff’s Department

  • Officer Eric Waldrep – Foley Police Department

  • Officer Stacey Bates – Huntsville Police Department

  • Office Marcus Hendrix

  • Officer John Garner

  • Officer Chris Hines

  • Officer Kevin Matthews

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