(Media release from the Floyd County Police Department):

The 2021 recipient of Officer of the Year for Floyd County Police Department is also a winner of the lifesaving award. The officer of the year award is the highest commendation from the police department and is a recognition of courage and unselfish actions that epitomize the true character of a police officer.

Blake Puckett is a four-year veteran of the police department and was working on third shift in March of 2021 when he responded to a head on vehicle crash on New Calhoun Highway in Shannon. Both vehicles were destroyed in the collision and one of the vehicles was on fire. Puckett sacrificed his safety to enter the burning vehicle and remove the occupant before it was fully engulfed in flame. Puckett earlier received his life saving award during a private ceremony with officers.

The officer of the year award was presented during the annual police luncheon hosted at the Thornton Center in Armuchee. Retired members of the department joined active duty officers and staff for the celebration.

Other officers receiving quarterly awards include:

Amber Lopez, a first year investigator, received the first quarter honors because she was able to identify multiple victims in a sexual assault investigation. She arrested a man for sexual assaults from several jurisdictions. Investigator Lopez invested numerous hours of work to bring justice to unspoken victims. She has three years of service.

Jordan Clayton, a six-year veteran of the police department, was assigned a store robbery in which the clerk was assaulted by a masked gunman. The investigator was able to resolve the case and arrest a suspect. He is the second quarter recipient of honor.

Jack Tetsworth, another third shift officer, is also a recipient of the lifesaving award in 2021 and winner of third quarter honors. He responded to a vehicle crash in September where he found an overturned vehicle. The driver was trapped inside and showed weak vital signs. The officer cut the driver from the vehicle and provided medical assistance until EMS arrived. Tetsworth has four years of service and is a member of the SWAT team.

Carlos Ribot was recognized for his self-initiated activity and complex patrol investigations that resulted in the arrest of 17 people for felony drug violations. Ribot showed tremendous initiative with interviews, surveillance and evidence gathering to be able to make the arrests as an independent patrol officer. He showed leadership in working with his coworkers to safely bring results. Ribot is a seven-year veteran of the police department and is a member of the SWAT team.