On National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, the George Washington Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution honored Sheriff’s Sergeant Chris O’Dell with the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal for his outstanding service to the Sheriff’s Office and for his life-saving actions involving a suicidal inmate. Chapter President Greg Bodge joined Public Safety Awards Coordinator John Blair as he presented Sergeant O’Dell with the award during a luncheon at Belle Haven Country Club on Saturday, January 9.
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, Captain Mavis Thomas, Lieutenant Monique Rea and Sergeant Waraphan Srikongyos also attended the luncheon. Sheriff Lawhorne proudly spoke of Sergeant O’Dell’s many accomplishments and his dedication to duty, but said he was most impressed and inspired by Sergeant O’Dell’s genuine concern for and commitment to others.
Sergeant O’Dell joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1994, was promoted in 2013, and is currently assigned as a supervisor at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. He has served as a member of the Honor Guard, Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team and Crisis Intervention Team, as well as an instructor certified in Firearms, Emergency Vehicle Operations, First Aid and CPR, and Defensive Tactics. He has also supervised the Critical Care Mental Health Unit, a housing unit in the Detention Center for inmates with mental illness.
Sergeant O’Dell’s professionalism and commitment to others was evident one night in the summer of 2014 when he intervened in a distressed inmate’s suicide attempt. For his quick thinking, keen observations and fast actions, Sergeant O’Dell received a life-saving award in 2015 from the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.