LMPD Officers, civilian employees honored during ceremony


by WHAS11.com


Posted on May 10, 2014 at 11:46 PM

Updated Sunday, May 11 at 10:00 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It was a night to honor Louisville's finest at the Galt House. More than one hundred awards were given out to Louisville Metro Police officers and civilian employees for their bravery, compassion and commitment to service.

One award recipient in particular received a standing ovation. Donald Gritton, III, was a student at Kenwood Elementary School last September, when he noticed someone suspicious lurking around his school. It's what the 10-year-old did next that LMPD honored Saturday night, with the "Distinguished Citizen Service" award.

"I was outside playing and I recognized a young boy with a weapon and went and told my teacher," Gritton said.

The suspect, later identified as 19-year-old Dijon Gaines, had been hiding behind a bush near the playground. Gritton stayed calm, even when his friends felt panicked.

"They were scared, but they felt a lot better when the person was taken into custody," Gritton said.

The school went into lockdown as a precaution, as staff waited for Metro police to arrive on scene. They arrested Gaines near the school a short time later, in possession of five BB guns. Gaines was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing.

Months later, Gritton's heroic actions were rewarded in front of a crowd of hundreds of Metro police officers and their families.

"I'm getting the Distinguished Citizen Award," Gritton said. "It makes me feel marvelous. It makes me feel like I did the right thing."

Click here for a list of all recipients.