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Heroism medals awarded sheriff’s officers

Published 12:49pm Monday, December 10, 2012

Leader photo/JOHN EBY


ST. JOSEPH — Berrien County Undersheriff Chuck Heit bestowed a medal of valor on Sgt. Trent Babcock Thursday morning before the Board of Commissioners.

“Only a handful of people have received this for heroism,” Heit said. “He risked his life performing his duties to reflect courage, dedication and initiative in the highest tradition of law enforcement professions. He performed an act knowingly exposing himself to serious injury.”

On Feb. 13 in South Bend, Babcock and Lt. Rick Biggart and Deputy Marc Hopkins, who each received meritorious service medals for their support, solved more than 30 breaking and enterings and apprehended an armed and dangerous subject.

Deputy Jason Haskins also merited a letter of commendation for his investigative persistence between Nov. 21, 2011, and Feb. 13, 2012.

Heit also highlighted lifesaving awards for the jail, where a suicide was prevented on Sept. 7, and the marine division, which rescued two people from 10-foot Lake Michigan waves at Tiscornia Beach on Aug. 5.


Hildebrand honored


Commissioners adopted a resolution recognizing Ernest Hildebrand, who served on various boards and committees for Oronoko Charter Township for 42 years, including the last 20 years as supervisor.

Chairman Dave Pagel will present it next week.

Hildebrand served during initial development of the U.S. 31 bypass, helped acquire land and construct the public safety building without increasing taxes, was instrumental in the acquisition of land between the township hall and the public safety building for possibly expanding Feather Park and “worked countless hours developing good relations with various officials from Berrien Springs, Andrews University and Berrien County,” laying a “solid foundation for the next generation of board members.”


Vacation home checks


The sheriff’s department offers home checks for residents out of the area during the holidays or winter months. Call (269) 983-7141, ext. 7221.


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