Medford Police Department honors local heroes

Indy Norvell said he was nervous as he received a lifesaving award Wednesday night from the Medford Police Department, but the 12-year-old kept his cool when it counted he saved his family from their burning home in December.

Norvell was among a small group of citizens and police officers honored at the Medford Police Department's awards banquet at the Rogue Valley Country Club.

Norvell was one of three people handed lifesaving awards for their actions in dire situations last year.

Late in the night on Dec. 5, Norvell was awakened by his little brother, Sam, as smoke filled their home on Wyatt Drive in northwest Medford.

Indy walked into the living room and was startled by what he saw.

"Half the room was in flames," he said.

The Howard Elementary School student then woke his father, Demian Norvell, and they all escaped the home through a side door.

"He did pretty good," his father said.

Jean Dixon and Chris Laughery also were honored with lifesaving awards for keeping a suicidal woman from jumping off a ledge.

The Citizen Outstanding Achievement award was given to Linda Poitevint, who alerting police to a neighborhood burglar, which resulted in his arrest and the recovery of many stolen items. Mary Solomon-Farrell was awarded for her work as the executive director of the Maslow Project, which serves troubled youths.

The department recognized its own with Meritorious Lifesaving Awards given to Corporal Chris Dode and Officer Josh Spano. In March 2011, Dode and Spano gave emergency aid to a suspect who injured himself several times with a knife after locking himself in his bathroom. The officers saw blood seeping from under the door and forced their way into the room to stabilize the man before ambulance crews arrived.

The department's Outstanding Achievement Awards were given to the following:

  • Detective Kathryn Ivens, for her investigation into the murder of 2-year-old Kacy Sue Lunsford. Ivens' efforts resulted in the conviction of Benjamin James George, who is now in prison for the girl's death.
  • Officer Ian McDonald and Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Kennedy were honored for creating an informative presentation on local gangs.
  • Detective Stephanie Smith was honored for her investigation into a 57-year-old man who sexually assaulted a child and later was found to be in possession of child pornography. The man was given a life sentence.
  • Detective Gary Hatten and FBI agent Adam Marre were honored for scoring nine arrests and convictions in a drug ring that dealt cocaine and methamphetamine in Medford.
  • Detective Corey Schwab was awarded for a case he made against a local drug family that included members of the violent street gang the Crips.
  • Sgt. Don Lane was honored for his role as a drug-recognition expert. Lane traveled to Illinois to help start that state's DRE program.
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Caleb Enk for helping the department with weapons cases.
  • Police Chaplain Bob Gass was honored for his work with people who experienced tragedy.

The Officer of the Year honor was given to Schwab.

Civilian Employee of the Year was given to Kelli Daves, who works in the intel division.

Volunteer of the Year was given to Lee Hawkins.

Officer Erik Baines was given the Top Gun Award for his high marks on the firearms course. Baines has received this award the previous two years.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4771 or email him at

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