Ceremony held in honor of Louisiana's law enforcement
BATON ROUGE - Acts of bravery and sacrifice were celebrated at the 3rd annual Heart of Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony, paying homage to those who have gone above and beyond to protect and serve.
Seventeen officers were honored Tuesday for going "Beyond the Badge." Two of them got a special award for the selfless things they do outside of their normal duties.
"I think everyone will be quite impressed with what these officers do each and every day," said Linda Hull, creator of Beyond the Badge.
Cpl. Heather Martin of the Lafayette Police Department took home the "Service Before Self" award.
"Amazing! This is the best word I can describe it," Martin said.
Last year Martin took it upon herself to help a 90-year-old veteran who lived in deplorable conditions. She says doing this type of service is something that's naturally part of her.
"I couldn't let him sit there, staying in one room in a chair. We had to clean his house get it back to normal, and get it to where he could use his facilities in his bathroom," she said. "This is what I wanted to do. Ever since I was little. It was just in my blood."
She wasn't the only officer awarded for courageous servitude.
Major Todd Morris with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office was also given the prestigious award for his contribution in the seven-year-old case involving the disappearance of Sylviane Lozada. Back in September, the officer never gave up locating the woman's young daughter entangled in the menacing case.
Martin says servitude of this nature goes far beyond a blue line.
"Me and my brothers and sisters in the blue don't do this for any recognition or anything, just to make sure everybody is safe and the smiles we can put on people's faces during the hardest times of their lives--that's the only recognition I need," Martin said.
The officers who were given the "Service Before Self" award received a $500 gift card, plus letters from President Trump and the Governor.
They also received a flag flown over the State Capitol in their honor.