Moore first in Ohio to receive Congressional Badge of BraveryBy Randa Wagner
Thursday was a memorable day for both Ohio and Morrow County when Detective Brandon Moore became the first officer in the state to receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown joined Congress-man Jim Jordan in presenting the award to Moore at a ceremony held Jan. 12 at the Community Services building in Mt. Gilead that was attended by public officials, law enforcement officers, and media personnel from several counties.
Morrow County Sheriff Steve Brenneman led the program, introducing John Campbell, Central Ohio District Director for U.S. Senator Rob Portman; Barbara Vanarsdall, Victim Witness Coordinator and Fred Alverson from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and special guests Jim and Tommie Moore (Det. Moore’s parents) and Jeff and Teresa Levering.
Brenneman recalled the events of that day, explaining the October 21, 2010 incident and its aftermath. Moore’s vehicle was hit 16 times, he said, and 40 rounds were fired from Roush’s rifle. In spite of his injuries, Moore was able to hit his assailant from a distance of about 55 yards and end the assault.
Before the badge was presented to Moore, officials offered their thoughts and congratulations to Moore.
“It’s a privilege to stand alongside Sheriff Brenneman, Sen. Brown, and Congressman Jordan to recognize Detective Moore’s courageous actions,” John Campbell said. He delivered a message from Senator Portman which read, in part:
“Every day our law enforcement officers are at the front line risking their lives to keep us safe and uphold the rule of law. This award was only established in 2008. Detective Moore sets a high bar for future recipients. Moore stayed and risked his life because he saw there was more to the story than a property dispute.
“Law enforcement ultimately found 1700 plants, over 100 firearms and over 29,000 rounds of ammunition, all because of your bravery. This is a model for all citizens, not just law enforcement personnel. Like Det, Moore, we’re called to stay and do the right thing to its fullest. By swiftly returning fire after he’d already been shot repeatedly, he protected three neighbors from injury or death and saved his own life. Det. Moore, you’ve honored the nation and Ohio, and on behalf of Sem. Portman, thank you.”
“On behalf of U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart and Barbara Vanarsdall and, as a representative of the U.S. Dept. of Justice, I appreciate the opportunity to be here,” offered Fred Alverson. “The Congressional Badge of Bravery is a new award created by the Justice Dept. and, after hearing the sheriff recount the tale, I have to think this is exactly what Congress had in mind when they wanted to recognize acts of bravery by men and women of law enforcement across the United States. You’re the first Ohioan to receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery, and it’s certainly an appropriate honor and tremendous event that could have been a tragedy. Instead, it has become something motivational for everyone in law enforcement at the federal, state and local level. Thank you for your contributions to keeping the people of Morrow County, Ohio, safe.”
“We’re so thankful to you for your bravery,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. “Every day, we ask our law enforcement officials to put their lives on the line to fight fires and address robberies– to patrol dangerous neighborhoods and investigate violent crimes. And while we may never guarantee their safety, in honoring their service we give gratitude for their sacrifice. That’s what today is about. This commemoration embodies the very American values of honor, duty, and sacrifice that we see in Detective Moore. And on this day and each day, we thank all those who serve in uniform — as well as their families — for their continued commitment to their communities.”
“It’s always appropriate to honor excellence and achievement,” Congressman Jim Jordan told attendees. “But when that achievement is coupled with bravery and courage, it’s truly special. The men and women who put on the uniform every day and risk their lives for the families and folks in their communities is something to recognize and say thank you. We can’t thank you enough, and it’s a real pleasure to be part of this today.”
Sen. Brown assisted while Diandra Moore placed the Congressional Badge of Bravery around her husband’s neck. When the applause ended, Moore addressed the room.
“I want to say a big word of thanks to all members of law enforcement that were able to be here,” Moore said. “It’s great to see their support; it’s like having a second family throughout this whole ordeal. Many thanks to our sheriff, who has been so supportive throughout this whole thing — everybody needs to be aware of what a great sheriff we have in Steve Brenneman. He’s been at every surgery he could possibly be at that I’ve gone through, and to see that support from an elected official when I’m the ‘grunt,’ the little guy, he, too, sets a high bar for what other sheriffs do in their jobs on a daily basis.
“Lastly, by way of thanks, is a thanks to the community in general. The outpouring of support in all its forms has been wonderful. From the fundraiser at Dave and Busters to being stopped in the aisle at the grocery store — it happens every time I go to town. It’s so humbling to have someone step away from what they’re doing to stop and say, ‘Mr. Moore, it’s great to meet you and thank you for what you did.’ That never gets old because that shows me the best of what humanity has to offer when we see, so often in our jobs, the worst of what humanity has to offer. It’s very refreshing and I want to thank the community for that.
“The word ‘hero’ has been used many times and it’s a very humbling thing to have someone use that word on you,” Moore continued. “I’d just like to point out the words of an elementary school teacher I know in Lexington. The definition she used for ‘hero’ was ‘an ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing.’ I would submit to you that you have many ordinary people in this county and nation that put on the badge and uniform and go out and do extraordinary things for your community. Thank you for your support.”
Recognizing Sgt. Rob Chalfant, Brenneman said he was the first to respond back to the scene that was very chaotic when he arrived.
“The suspect was down but still armed with a handgun we didn’t know he had; the suspect’s wife was there holding the assault rifle when he arrived and refused to put it down,” the sheriff recalled. “He faced a very difficult situation and handled it very, very well. I’m very proud to have him here also. It’s an honor to be here as sheriff of Morrow County. I’m proud of being that and very humbled by it. We have a motto at the sheriff’s office on PRIDE: Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence. Brandon exemplifies that totally; the officers and men and women of the sheriff’s office exemplify that totally. I’m very proud and humbled to be able to serve with them as my coworkers.”
Also recognized were law enforcement officers and agencies that had a key role in responding to the site, processing the crime scene and assisting with the subsequent investigation. Certificates of appreciation were awarded to: Mt. Gilead Post 59 of the Highway Patrol, Cardington Police Department, Edison Police Department, Knox County Sheriff’s office, Franklin County Sheriff’s office, Columbus Division of Police, Mt. Gilead Police Department, Morrow County EMS, Marion County Sheriff’s office, Wyandot County Sheriff’s office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Investigation, Union County Sheriff’s office, Big Walnut Fire District, Delaware County Sheriff’s office, Columbus Field Division of ATF, Capitol City Lodge of the FOP Lodge #9, Crawford County Sheriff’s office, Marion County Correctional Facility, and appreciation was expressed to MedFlight doctors, Grant Hospital Staff surgeons, and staff.