Missouri Governor Mike Parson presented a Troop H Patrolman, a Rock Port Police Department member, and three civilians from the area with Missouri State Public Safety Medals during a ceremony held in Jefferson City.

The Medal of Valor is Missouri’s highest award recognizing public safety officers who exhibit courage, decisiveness, and presence of mind regardless of public safety concerns. Trooper Keaton Ebersold of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Shannon Sherwood of the Rock Port Police Department were recognized for their efforts in diffusing a potential hostage situation that took place in January of 2019 near Rock Port. The situation involved a woman that had taken control of a 3-year-old child and possessed a flare gun in the sleeper cab of a truck on I-29 in Atchison County. The situation was eventually diffused when Chief Sherwood distracted the woman during a negotiation, and Trooper Ebersold lunged inside the vehicle and locked the flare gun in place. The woman was eventually taken into custody.

Jason C. Gamm, Rick L. Shannon, and Wesley W. Teague were also presented the Public Safety Civilian Partnership Award for their efforts last June to aid in an emergency situation. Trenton Police Officer Jasmine Diab was shot during a transport of prisoner to a mental health evaluation near Winston. The civilian motorists realized the officer was in trouble. A gun was retrieved from a vehicle, the prisoner was pulled from the vehicle, and the prisoner was held until law enforcement arrived and placed him into custody.

A total of 11 first responders and 6 civilians were presented Missouri Public Safety Medals in the ceremony for life-saving actions in 2019.