13th Annual Golden Shield Honors
13th Annual Golden Shield Honors Has Record-Breaking Attendance
Nearly 600 law enforcement officers and community leaders across Georgia turned out April 25 for the 13th Annual Golden Shield Honors at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. Mothers Against Drunk Driving – Georgia (MADD Georgia) and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awarded law enforcement officers, agencies, and prosecutors for their efforts in DUI education, detection, arrests, prosecution, and prevention of underage drinking. Statewide accolades were given to officers and agencies with the highest DUI arrests (DUI Heroes), Statewide Officer of the Year, Statewide Agency of the Year, Prosecutor of the Year, Golden Achievement Award, and more. The Cobb County Police Department brought in an impressive 1696 DUI arrests. Officers honored on April 25th were responsible for over 23,000 DUI arrests in 2016 collectively.
Governor Nathan Deal delivered the keynote speech to celebrate officers from every part of the state. During his address, Governor Deal cited speed, alcohol, and distraction among the top killers on Georgia’s roadways. Governor Deal was instrumental in the passage of MADD’s DUI legislation, HB205, which passed the legislature in 2016 and will go into effect July 1, 2017. This bill provides the option of an ignition interlock for 1st time DUI offenders.
Attendees also heard a moving tribute by Faith Norman, widow of fallen Cobb County Police Officer James Frederick “Freddie” Norman, who died of injuries sustained on duty when hit by a drunk driver.
Georgia State Senator Dr. Donzella James, District 35, presented Outstanding Georgia Citizen Awards to MADD Georgia State Advisory Council members Angela Blank and Amy Kissam-Sands. These awards, issued by Georgia Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp, are given to those Georgians who go above and beyond in their dedication to the well-being of the state.
Other remarks were made by MADD CEO Debbie Weir, MADD National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager Ron Replogle, Angela Blank and Amy Kissam-Sands, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood and MADD State Executive Director Debbie Day.
Notable attendees included Arthur and Angela Blank of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC; Representative Geoff Duncan of District 26; Colonel Mark McDonough of the Georgia State Patrol; Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren; and even a special appearance from Freddie Falcon and Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders. Clayton County Commissioner Felicia Franklin-Warner presented a touching vocal tribute to the 12 fallen Georgia officers from the past year.
Sponsors of the 13th Annual Golden Shield Honors included the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia Automobile Dealers Association, and AAA, The Auto Club Group. Also in attendance were representatives from MADD national sponsors, Nationwide and UBER.