By Wendy Wood
November 18, 2013
RALEIGH — Col. Bill Grey, commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and Frank Perry, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, will present several employees and civilians with awards from the department and the Highway Patrol in a ceremony on Tuesday at 10 a.m. The awards given will include the State Highway Patrol Appreciation Award, Meritorious Award, Samaritan Award, Humanitarian Award and Valor Award.
Included in the honorees will be Trooper Joshua M. Cockerham of Wilkesboro with the Valor Award.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve alongside all of our fine men and women in the patrol,” Perry said. “That honor is enhanced as we recognize the best of the best.”
“Each recipient went beyond the normal call of duty, and demonstrated outstanding judgment,” said Grey. “These employees and civilians are to be commended on their actions and contributions to the citizens of the state of North Carolina and to our department.”
The Highway Patrol Appreciation Award Recognizes a citizen who has significantly contributed to the success and mission of the Highway Patrol.
The Highway Patrol Meritorious Award is given by the Patrol to a member who serves the state of North Carolina in an outstanding manner.
The Highway Patrol Samaritan Award is an award bestowed to a member of the Patrol who went beyond the call of duty to aid or assist a fellow citizen.
The Highway Patrol Humanitarian Award is an award that recognizes an employee for outstanding volunteer public service that significantly contributes to individuals, groups, organizations, or communities in North Carolina.
The Highway Patrol Valor Award is the agency’s highest award and recognizes a member who demonstrated outstanding judgment, courage, personal bravery, and a selfless act of heroism involving risk of life to prevent injury, loss of life, or prevent damage to or loss of property.
According to the release on Cockerham’s award, on May 25, “Trooper Cockerham was working a traffic post near the Charlotte Motor Speedway when a white Lexus lost control and started traveling toward Sgt. Ed Suttles and Cockerham. As the vehicle came across the grassy median, the vehicle collided with four patrol vehicles and Cockerham was able to push Suttles out of the path of the vehicle. Had Cockerham not pushed Suttles out of the travel path of the vehicle, both could have been critically injured or worse.”