Quick action in January by Lexington County deputy Joe Auckerman is credited with saving the life of a 10-year-old Gilbert girl who was being mauled by a pit bull.
That action has now earned the 30-year-old Batesburg-Leesville man, a five year veteran of the Lexington County Sheriffs Department, top honors from the American Legion. He will be presented the 2011 South Carolina Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award at a ceremony in Greenville on Friday.
The honor stems, in part, from Auckermans response to a 911 call on Jan. 13, 2011. When he arrived at a home on Bethlehem Circle near Batesburg-Leesville, he found the child being attacked by and pinned under a pit bull. In addition, a wire intended to restrain the dog had become wound around the girls neck. Auckerman shot and killed the animal and bound the girls wounds with the help of Lexington County volunteer firefighter Andy Taylor.
The girl suffered life-threatening injuries to her neck and arms when the dog attacked her, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said in a statement commending the deputys quick action.
American Legion Post 7 in Lexington nominated Auckerman for the Officer of the Year Award.