Wilmington mayor and police chief present lifesaving awards


WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Mayor Bill Saffo and Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams presented WPD officers with Live Saving, Purple Heart and Certificate of Merit awards at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Rescue Awards were presented to Corporal Dena Larry and Officer Andrew Pagan.

On January 31, 2021, Corporal Dena Larry responded to a range observer alert. Upon arrival, she found a person with an arm wrapped in a towel soaked in blood. An artery had been cut, not because of a gunshot but because of a broken window. Larry applied a tourniquet and quickly had the person transported to the hospital. His actions probably saved the person’s life.

On November 28, 2019, Constable Andrew Pagan responded to a range observer alert. At the scene, Pagan found a victim who was bleeding profusely. He applied a tourniquet and had the victim transported to hospital. His actions probably saved the victim’s life.

Officer Nick Wilkinson received a Purple Heart Award for serious injuries sustained in the line of duty. During a routine patrol on June 14, 2021, his patrol car was struck by a drunk driver. Wilkinson was seriously injured in the incident. As his patrol car was destroyed, Mayor Saffo said a brand new patrol car was waiting outside Wilkinson.

Corporal Anthony Merritt was awarded a Certificate of Merit.

On August 30, 2021, Corporal Merritt was the first to attend the shooting scene at New Hanover High School. Merritt quickly located the victim and escorted him to safety. He then divided the response officers into search teams to find the suspect. Merritt received the Certificate of Merit for his leadership during the first few minutes of the incident.

“I am proud of the actions of these police officers,” said Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams. “Officer Wilkinson – I reflect on the difficulty of the situation. I am proud of the actions of all of our men and women here.

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