Law enforcement personnel from the Cullman area were honored at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Friday night along with officers from across the state at the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Alabama State Games.

Law enforcement officers who had served for a minimum of ten consecutive years received the Medal of Distinction, while officers who had been killed in duty posthumously received a Medal of Valor.

Cullman City Police Department Patrolman Rick Thiot, one of the numerous local officers recognized, said he was honored by the Medal of Distinction he received.

β€œI thought it was a great honor, an unexpected honor,” he said. β€œIt was very nice for the state of Alabama to do something like this for police officers and officers killed in the line of duty.”

Fred A. Brown, Scott Clay, Clarence Clemons, Rob Cook, Michael Corley, Jerry Dover, Kenneth Griffin, Billy Handley, Jimmy Morrow, Marsha Norris, Darrell Price, Wade Pruitt, A. Allison, Tony Quick, Tyler Roden, Erik Ryan, David Sandlin, Kenneth Nail, Rick Thiot, Jeff Warnke and Homer Woodruff were among the officers from the Cullman area who received the Medal of Distinction.

John Sparks and Donald Hamby, also from the Cullman area, were honored posthumously with a Medal of Valor for giving their lives in the line of duty.

Thiot accepted the medal for Sparks on behalf of the Sparks family and Nail accepted the medal for Hamby on behalf of the Hamby family.

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