Valdosta Police Promotes Ten Officers and Honors Life Saving Award

The Valdosta Police Department honored thirteen personnel during a Promotions and Awards Ceremony on Aug 7. City officials, government employees and citizens gathered to honor the dedicated service of the outstanding men and women who make up the city’s police force.

“This group of officers demonstrated the skills and discipline needed to be effective leaders,” said Chief Leslie Manahan, Valdosta Police Department.  “I am certainly proud to have them as members of the city’s police force.”

The full list promotions celebrated at the ceremony are as follows:

Life Saving Award

  • Officer Matthew Delacruz

Promotion to Commander

  • Commander Matt Osteen

Promotion to Captain

  • Captain Tomas Chavarria
  • Captain Brent Johnson

Promotion to Lieutenant

  • Lieutenant Alex Adair
  • Lieutenant Scottie Johns
  • Lieutenant Holly Vickers

Promotion to SRO Sergeant

  • Sergeant Sabrina Smith

Promotion to Sergeant

  • Sergeant Bucky Griffin
  • Sergeant Zachary Stites
  • Sergeant Vincent Altobello
  • Sergeant Jeff Stokes
  • Sergeant James Hinson

During the ceremony, Officer Matthew DelaCruz was awarded the Life Saving Award. On Mother’s Day this year, Officer DelaCruz responded to a domestic dispute, in which the victim was stabbed in the neck with a knife.  When Officer DelaCruz arrived on scene, he found the victim bleeding profusely from his jugular vein in his neck.  Officer DelaCruz immediately provided pressure to the wound with his fingers to stop the bleeding.  The fire department and EMS arrived on scene and quickly transported the victim to the hospital.   Officer DelaCruz rode in the ambulance, continuing to provide direct pressure to the wound.

“Because of Officer DelaCruz providing first aid and direct pressure to the victim’s neck, the victim survived the attack and was able to identify the offender,” said Chief Manahan.

The city congratulates these incredible police personnel for their long-standing efforts to protect and serve Valdosta citizens, day in and day out.