Dodge County Chief Deputy Michael “Mike” E. Patterson was honored by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. during its summer training conference in recognition “for the valiant, courageous and determined manner in which he serves the citizens of Georgia.” Patterson was working as a deputy in Bleckley County in September 2012 when he performed his heroic act. Bleckley County Sheriff Harold Lancaster presented deputy Patterson the “2013 Deputy of the Year Award of Valor” award on behalf of the Association during the annual banquet held July 18, 2013 in Augusta.
The Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award of Valor was initiated by the sheriffs to recognize a deputy who demonstrated an act of conspicuous heroism and bravery in the line of duty. The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Executive Board selected this deputy for this honor for his act of courage, selflessness and dedication while employed by the Bleckley County Sheriff’s Office.
Like many accounts of heroism, this one started on a routine shift, one routine night, with a routine call. What began with a simple request for help with an ongoing theft investigation turned into the life changing event of courage when one deputy had to save the life of his partner and his own. After a struggle with an attempted arrest, deputy Patterson was knocked to the ground and his back up, deputy Baggs, deployed his taser against the suspect only to delay the next horrifying event by moments. The suspect pulled a gun from beneath his shirt and aimed it at deputy Baggs. Although in a compromising situation while on the ground, deputy Patterson acted quickly and heroically and fired a round into the suspect, preventing any further life threatening, life altering incidents. Deputy Patterson saved his partner’s life and his own by acting bravely and upon his years of training.
Patterson, of Eastman, is married to Jeannie and they have five children and four grandchildren.
The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is comprised of 159 elected sheriffs with the support of over 70,000 honorary members throughout the state who recognize and appreciate the service of the constitutional Office of Sheriff and the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes, Inc.