Upstate award ceremony recognizing law enforcement officers

Crime Stoppers of Greenville is recognizing law enforcement officers who go above the beyond the call of duty.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An Upstate award ceremony honored several law enforcement officers for their service on Tuesday at the Poinsett Club.

During the ceremony, family members of the ten officers who died in the line of duty since 1996 were presented with roses to place by their loved one’s photos.

The most recent officer killed was Officer Matthew Hare on August 2. His mother was also honored.

For the first time, the Russ Sorrow Award was given to two recipients, Greenville County Deputy Johnathan Hill and Lance Corporal Devin Kugler with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, for going above and beyond the call of duty to serve their community.

“The Russ Sorrow Award is an officer that exemplifies the traits that Russ Sorrow had. The fearlessness, the love for law enforcement and his co-workers. The SHIELD Award is for an officer that goes well and beyond the call of duty, to not only train young officers, but to continue with their duties,” Crime Stoppers Board Member, Rick Woodall said.

Lance Corporal Devin Kugler was seriously injured during a hit-and-run last October. While standing outside his patrol car during a traffic stop in Greenville County, another car hit Kugler and fled the scene.

Kugler had numerous broken bones, a traumatic brain injury, and other life-threatening injuries. He was in the ICU and spent nearly a month in the hospital.

Russ Sorrow Award co-recipient, Deputy Jonathan Hill responded to that scene, rendering medical aid until EMS arrived.

”We’ve gone through a lot of training and stuff like that so it definitely helped in a critical situation like that, but I was just an extra set of hands that day between EMS, the fire department, and the hospital. The Lord was definitely working that night to have all the resources there to give him the best outcome that we could,” Deputy Hill said.

Kugler said Deputy Hill helped save his life.

“To me, it’s a prestigious award to achieve, especially for this man. He saved my life on October 16th. I don’t have any memory of it. He bears all the memory of it, and the Greenville County EMS staff. With what this deputy has done, and Greenville County EMS, they saved my life and I truly appreciate it,” Lance Corporal Kugler said.

The SHIELD Award was also presented to State Law Enforcement Senior Special Agent Eldon McCraw. He has worked on several high-profile cases including the Susan Smith case in 1994 and most recently the Alex Murdaugh investigation.