ALEA Celebrates Troopers with Lifesaving & Distinguished Service Awards
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) recently announced the recipients of the Agency's Lifesaving and Distinguished Service Awards, which highlight outstanding professionalism and skills displayed through a heroic act that preserved the life of another.
“We are truly grateful to have such dedicated and courageous Troopers, as well as Special Agents, who exemplify the Agency’s mission while providing protection and applying the appropriate action and training to assist every individual in what may seem like their darkest hour," said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor.
The private ceremony was held at the ALEA Headquarters for the family and colleagues of the recipients. Two Troopers within ALEA's Highway Patrol Division and six assigned to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) received the honors. The event highlighted remarkable stories of two individuals who went above and beyond to help those in need.
Senior Trooper Gabriel Gilbert was awarded the Agency's Lifesaving Award for his quick thinking and decision-making, which ended up saving a life. Sr. Trooper Gilbert, assigned to the Highway Patrol Division, was patrolling Interstate 459 in Jefferson County earlier in May when he discovered an individual unresponsive in their vehicle on the side of the road.
He assessed the situation and determined this was a narcotics overdose. He immediately administered Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, and then called for medical services to further assist the individual.
Now retired Senior Trooper John Vincent received the Distinguished Service award for risking his own life by going above and beyond in a case. On May 18, Sr. Trooper Vincent responded to a high-speed pursuit involving officers from multiple agencies chasing a suspect wanted for murder.
The suspect had stolen a vehicle and was using it to strike pursuing police officers, while also firing at officers. The suspect's car was eventually disabled, at which point the suspect fled the vehicle and took an innocent person at gunpoint. Sr. Trooper Vincent gave the suspect multiple verbal commands to drop the weapon, but the suspect refused to comply, instead pointing the firearm at the Trooper.
With no other option, Sr. Trooper Vincent discharged his weapon and stopped the suspect. He then immediately requested medical services come provide assistance.
Also at the ceremony, several SBI Special Agents along with officers from local agencies were awarded for their efforts to preserve the life of an individual who was arrested during a large-scale drug trafficking investigation in Jefferson County in late July.
The suspect was being transported to jail when they suddenly collapsed, and began to experience a medical emergency.
Lieutenant Paul Hayes, Special Agent Senior Robert Bailey and Task Force Officers Nick Burnett, Jon Gossett, Dustin Gray and Marcel Walker immediately worked together to assess the situation, provide medical aide and request paramedics. Officers identified that the suspect was suffering from a narcotics overdose. They quickly administered Narcan, which saved the suspect's live and allowed medical assistance to arrive in time.
“While we have all continued to face the challenges and adjust to the changes caused by the deadly pandemic and its variants in 2021, one element has remained constant in the era of the coronavirus: the dedication and commitment of our law enforcement officers. They have continued to answer the call, perform extraordinary tasks, and go above and beyond the call of duty,” Secretary Taylor said. “I am proud to recognize these individuals within our Agency who continuously display the level of courage and commitment that epitomizes American law enforcement.”