On Saturday, June 9, Valdosta Fire Department Lieutenant Justin Ply was recognized as the Elks Lodge Public Safety Officer (PSO) of the year for the State of Georgia. This comes after Ply was awarded Public Safety Officer of the year for the Valdosta Elks Lodge several months ago. Ply was up against 26 other Elks Lodge PSO award recipients across the State. Lieutenant Ply will now represent the State of Georgia during the national competition.
“It’s very humbling, especially for just doing what is right. I was just doing what I thought was right in that situation. That is what I am trained to do,” said Ply. “I know there are so many deserving Public Safety Officers in our area who were up for this award and I am so honored to have received it.”
It was an honor for the Valdosta Fire Department to have Lieutenant Ply compete against some of the best Public Safety Officers in our area. Lieutenant Ply’s heroic efforts of intervening in a domestic incident that involved a female being physically and verbally assaulted is a true testimony of his commitment to putting himself in danger to save a perfect strangers life. The Valdosta Fire Department would also like to thank the Valdosta Elks Lodge for their continuous support of the Public Safety Departments and hosting the annual Public Safety Officer of the Year banquet.
“Each year we do this award to honor Public Safety Officers in our area. They risk their lives for us every single day,” said Terry Bennett, Chairman of the Board at the Valdosta Elks Lodge.
This is the second year in a row that a City of Valdosta Employee has won the award on a local level. Last year a VPD Officer received the award.
“We are so proud of the work our First Responders do day in and day out. We are all excited for Lieutenant Ply to represent the city on the national level. He exemplifies what we strive for our employee’s here to be at the City of Valdosta, outstanding. We congratulate Lieutenant Ply for his heroic efforts and commitment to our community,” said Mark Barber, City Manager.