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Home  |  News  |  Deputy Presented American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award

Deputy Presented American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award
Friday, June 3, 2011

LEXINGTON, SC - At 11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 3, the South Carolina Department of the American Legion presented Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Resident Deputy Joe Auckerman with the American Legion’s 2011 South Carolina Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Auckerman, 30, of Leesville, will receive the award during a luncheon at the American Legion’s statewide convention, which will be held in the Continental Room at the Hyatt Regency Greenville at 220 North Main Street in Greenville. American Legion Post 7 in Lexington nominated Auckerman for the Officer of the Year Award.

“I am very pleased that the American Legion recognized Joe as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year,” Metts said. “Joe does an outstanding job in working with citizens and businesses to enhance the quality of life in the communities that he serves.”

Auckerman serves as the resident deputy for the Gilbert, Hollow Creek and Summit communities, Metts said. The sheriff hired Auckerman on November 28, 2005.

Auckerman will be recognized, in part, for his actions on January 13, when Auckerman used his firearm to fatally shoot a pit bull that was attacking a 10-year-old girl outside a home on Bethlehem Circle near Leesville, Metts said.

“The 10-year-old girl’s life was in serious jeopardy when the pit bull attacked her,” Metts said. “Joe acted quickly to eliminate the threat that the dog posed to the girl.”

At about 11:11 a.m. on January 13, Auckerman arrived at the home on Bethlehem Circle in response to a call for help that was placed to the Sheriff’s Department, Metts said.

When Auckerman arrived at the home, Auckerman found that the pit bull was on top of the 10-year-old girl, biting the girl and shaking her violently, Metts said. Auckerman ran towards the girl, removed his service weapon from its holster and positioned himself so that he could safely aim his firearm at the dog from a distance of about eight feet. Auckerman then fatally shot the pit bull in order to eliminate the threat that the dog posed to the girl and Auckerman.

Auckerman went to aid the 10-year-old girl, Metts said. A portion of a cable that had been used unsuccessfully to restrain the pit bull was wrapped around the girl’s neck and upper torso.

Auckerman and Andy Taylor, a volunteer firefighter with the Lexington County Fire Service, bandaged wounds that the 10-year-old girl suffered when the pit bull bit her, Metts said. The girl suffered life-threatening injuries to her neck and arms when the dog attacked her.

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