Lauderdale Co. deputy recognized as ‘Deputy of the Year’

Dep. Sam Upchurch received Deputy of the Year award from Sheriff Billy Sollie.
Dep. Sam Upchurch received Deputy of the Year award from Sheriff Billy Sollie.(Lauderdale County Sheriff's Dept.)
Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 4:24 PM CST
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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - A local first responder was named Deputy of the Year by the Mississippi Sheriffs’ Association.

Lauderdale County Deputy Sam Upchurch was given the award at the association’s meeting this week. Upchurch was recognized for his bravery and swift response to the shooting of Judge Charlie Smith outside of the courthouse on March 16th.

Upchurch says he is humbled by the award and that it’s for the hard working men and women in the department.

“It means the world to me. Not only is it a huge honor, but it’s also recognition of the hard work that every deputy for Lauderdale County does,” Upchurch said.

“I can’t thank Sheriff Billy Sollie enough for nominating me, but I also can’t thank the sheriffs of the Mississippi Sheriffs’ Association for bestowing this honor on me,” Upchurch said. “I work with men and women every day who are equally deserving of such honors. Since I received this honor, I just want to represent my department the best I can.”

In addition to being a deputy, Upchurch is a paramedic and registered nurse. He said that helped him tend to Judge Smith’s injuries that morning.

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