By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — Members of the Clinton Police Department and Clinton County Sheriff's Office commemorated National Police Week with an awards ceremony and a memorial ceremony to honor those who protect the community.
Before the Clinton City Council meeting Tuesday, two Clinton residents were given the Citizen's Award for their life-saving actions.
Thomas T.J. Jens Naughton was honored for alerting a neighbor that her home was on fire and helping her out of her home on April 12, 2012.
Naughton was first to see the fire after investigating crackling noises behind his home on 13th Avenue North. Naughton observed the home at 509 14th Ave. North on fire with flames extending from the side of the house up past the eves and roof.
Naughton ran to the front of 509 14th Ave. North, beat on the front door, and alerted the 63-year-old resident of the fire. The resident stated she was reading in her bedroom and unaware of the fire.
The location of the fire in proximity to the bedroom would soon block the escape route with smoke and fire, preventing her from exiting the burning structure.
The home was destroyed by the fire. Clinton police credit Naughton's rapid response to alert his neighbor and get her out of the burning home as a valuable service to the department.
James Willis Stevens was also honored with the Citizen's award for playing an intregal role in saving a woman who was in the Mississippi River.
Clinton County Communications dispatched Clinton Police Department officers to the north bridge April 24, 2012, in response to a suicidal subject who threatened to jump off the bridge.
Upon arrival, officers heard a female voice calling for help from the Mississippi River. While police officers and fire department personnel attempted to locate the woman in the water, Stevens, who was camping in the area of the river, heard her calls for help.
Stevens located a flashlight and filled a soft-side cooler with empty bottles for better flotation. Stevens walked into the 58-degree water and attempted to locate the woman. After several moments, he made verbal contact with her and then located and maintained physical contact with her while floating downstream until the fire department boat located them and pulled them from the water.
On Thursday, police continued their celebration of people that have served the community by hosting a memorial ceremony outside of the Clinton Police Department.
Mayor Mark Vulich read a proclamation declaring May 15 Peace Officer's Memorial Day as part of National Police Week.
"I think today's ceremony is important to honor those that gave their lives for the community and to make it safe to walk the streets of Clinton," Vulich said.
Two officers have been killed in the line of duty in the history of the Clinton Police Department. Fred Koch was shot by a suspect on Aug. 4, 1926. Todd Stone died instantly on Jan. 27, 1993, after he lost control of his police vehicle while pursuing a suspect.
Clinton police Chaplain John McClung spoke during the ceremony, calling for a moment of silence for those officers who died while serving the community.
"This week, police week, is a time we take pause to consider law enforcement's greatest achievements as well as their sacrifices," McClung said. "Because of their service, we enjoy a level of safety and peace and of freedom that other nations around the world can only imagine. We also pause to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice."