MADD Georgia celebrates hundreds of officers at 15th Annual Golden Shield Honors

540 guests gathered at the Cobb Galleria Centre to honor the Georgia law enforcement community for outstanding achievement in DUI enforcement at the 15th Annual Golden Shield Honors. For the past 15 years, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Georgia state office to celebrate law enforcement officers and agencies, DUI prosecutors, and community advocates.

The Golden Shield Honors encourages law enforcement officers and agencies to work hand-in-hand with MADD Georgia to ensure there are No More Victims. 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.Deputy Richard Justice of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office had the highest single number of DUI arrest with 355 last year. Cobb County Police Department brought in an impressive 1578 DUI arrests. The officers and agencies honored at this year’s awards removed over 25,000 impaired drivers off Georgia roads and spent thousands of hours educating the citizens in their communities in 2018 on the dangers of drunk and drugged driving and underaged drinking. A full list of 2019 winners can be seen below.

This year’s ceremony was full of surprises. Freddie the Falcon and Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders greeted officers and guests as they arrived – Freddie was even warned by GSP to slow it down on his scooter! Star 94.1 FM’s Jeff Dauler and Jenn Hobby of The Jeff & Jenn Show were the hosts for the afternoon. Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan popped in on Georgia’s finest with a special address to honorees. Brian Mixon of Perry Police Department delivered a very witty yet motivating keynote address sharing with law enforcement the 4 Types of Officers and how they get the job done.

In addition to celebrating officers at the awards ceremony, MADD Georgia paid tribute to the 10 fallen officers of 2018 and 2019. A very touching Mission Moment was shared by Brenda Fernander – wife of Neil Fernander, Volunteer Firefighter from Merriwether County who was killed by a drunk driver.

MADD Georgia attributes the success and ability to host such an event largely to support of its sponsors Georgia Automobile Dealers Association, AAA, and Brian “Buck” Rogers. Allen Poole, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety was presented a special award for their 15 years of partnership. Thanks to the generosity of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, a few lucky officers went home with cool prizes such as a signed jersey by Atlanta Falcons’ #11 Julio Jones and #5 Julio Gonzalez Pirez of Atlanta United – the 2018 MLS Cup Champions.

Officer DUI Heroes

Category 1 Joshua Adcock, Remerton Police Department, 32 DUI arrests

Category 2 Matthew Lynn, Lyons Police Department, 100 DUI arrests

Category 3 Benny Bena, Norcross Police Department, 207 DUI arrests

Category 4 Gregory Sbaldigi, Kennesaw Police Department, 107 DUI arrests

Category 5 John Thompson IV, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, 190 DUI arrests

Category 6 Richard Justice, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, 355 DUI arrests

Category 7 Aaron DiGiacomo, Georgia State Patrol – Nighthawks South, 316 DUI arrests

Agency DUI Heroes

Category 1 Remerton Police Department, 93 DUI arrests

Category 2 Lyons Police Department, 165 DUI arrests

Category 3 Port Wentworth Police Department, 220 DUI arrests

Category 4 Rome Police Department, 377 DUI arrests

Category 5 Henry County Police Department, 579 DUI arrests

Category 6 Cobb County Police Department, 1578 DUI arrests

Category 7 Georgia State Patrol Post 25, 858 DUI arrests

Officer of the Year

Kris Hall Habersham County Sheriff’s Office

Rookie of the Year

Jared Davis, Georgia State Patrol – Post 4

DRE Instructor of the Year

Doug French, Alpharetta Police Department

DRE of the Year

Eric Tilley, Fayetteville Police Department

DRE Outstanding Achievement

Randy Evans, Warner Robins Police

Agency of the Year

Gainesville Police Department

Post of the Year

Georgia State Patrol – Post 25

Heat/DUI Task Force of the Year

Georgia State Patrol Nighthawks South

Traffic Enforcement Network of the Year

Middle Georgia Traffic Enforcement Network

Prosecutor of the Year

Brandon “Kyle” Thompson – Bibb County Solicitor General

Golden Achievement Award

Gainesville Police Department

Special Appreciation Award

Chief Deputy Milton Beck, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office