Huntsville Police Officer Caleb Freeman well knew the address when he heard the call. Two of his fellow officers, relatively new to the force, were already at the scene of a domestic disturbance last November, a home to which Freeman had responded on previous occasions.
Upon arrival, he took command of the tense situation. As he went through the house, room to room, the perpetrator appeared and fired a 12-gauge shotgun at Freeman. The officer returned fire, wounding the shooter and bringing the dangerous situation to an end.
Only then did Freeman, above left, realize he had been wounded, with shotgun pellets having peppered his left leg. He was transported to the hospital but fortunately was dismissed later that evening.
Freeman’s heroics were honored recently with the awarding of Huntsville Police’s Purple Heart.
The award was the highlight of many presentations made at the annual Community Watch banquet, held at the Jaycee Building.
Chief Mark McMurray, pictured above right, recognized the achievements of many officers and department leaders while Rheajoela Caldwell, president of the Community Watch Association and a tireless contributor to HPD, presented awards on behalf of her association.
Community Watch awards
- Jonathan Craft, Community Hero Award
- Roseanne Cox, President’s Award
- Fleming Meadows/Westbury Estates, Watch Group Award (South)
- Colonial Treymore, Watch Group Award (North)
- Patton Bailey Estates, Watch Group Award (West)
- Winners of the Billy Clardy Award for Community Policing:
- Michael Johnson and Sam Lane (North)
- Bruce Jansen and Jeff Burke (South)
- William Darby and Cody Izzo (West)
- Community Relations Officer Recognition
- Tony Dykes and Kenny Adams (North)
- Johnny Hollingsworth and Dwight Atkinson (West)
- Steve Graham and Michael Johnson (South)
Huntsville Police awards
Officers of the Year
- Marcus Hendrix, Administrative Bureau Division
- Investigator Kevin Browning, Criminal Investigations Division – Violent Crimes Unit
- Investigator Kelvin Minton, Criminal Investigations Division – Special Victim’s Unit
- Joseph Torkar, Special Operations Division
- Taylor Stegal, North Precinct
- David Baggett, West Precinct
- Robert DeNoon, South Precinct
Supervisors of the Year
- Terry Lucas, Criminal Investigations Division
- Oscar Smith, Special Operations Division
- Grady Thigpen, North Precinct
- Chad Bryant, West Precinct
- Scott Patterson, South Precinct
Special Unit Citations
- Anti-Crime Team
- Bike Unit
- DUI Task Force
- Major Crime Unit
- Police Academy
- Recruitment Team
- Second Shift North Precinct
- Third Shift North Precinct