Easley honors officers

EASLEY — Easley’s city council meeting Monday night opened with a tribute to the three city police officers and one Pickens County Sheriff’s deputy who put their lives in danger to rescue a S.C. Highway Patrol officer after a crash in the line of duty last month.
Sgt. Jeremy David Benjamin, Master Patrolman Robert Felton and Patrolman Adam Roy Green of the Easley Police Department and Pickens County Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Benjamin rescued Lance Corp. Kris Bratcher after his patrol car caught fire after a wreck during pursuit of a motorcycle March 12.
Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell read a proclamation from city council commending the officers for their selfless service to rescue their comrade in the face of great danger and presented each officer a copy of the proclamation.
Easley Police Chief Danny Traber presented each of the three Easley officers with a life-saving medal for bravery, for their attempt to “rescue an officer or someone whose life is in immediate danger.”
On the morning of March 12 around 4 a.m., a man on a motorcycle passed Bratcher traveling in excess of 90 miles per hour.
Bratcher turned his patrol car around and pursued the motorcycle. Bratcher eventually lost control of his patrol car and crashed on Powdersville Road.
The four officers who helped rescue Bratcher had heard about the pursuit on the police radio, and came to see if they could be of any help in the potentially dangerous situation. Despite the fact that the patrol car was on fire, the officers bravely proceeded with the rescue.
According to officials, Bratcher is recovering well from injuries suffered in the crash. Traber described the four officers as “men who epitomize the word hero.”
LeRoy Smith, Director of the S.C. Highway Patrol said it was difficult for anybody to appreciate the action of the four officers “until it is your life saved by the grace of God and the willingness of fellow officers.”
J.B. Kelley of the Fraternal Order of The Police presented the officers with recognition of thier efforts in saving the life of a fellow officer.
“This has been one of the most interesting (city council) meetings I have ever been in,” Bagwell said. “And I’ve been involved with this council for a good number of years.”
Councilman Chris Mann agreed.
“I’ve been on council for eight years,” Mann said. “This has definitely been one of the most moving meetings.”
City administrator Fox Simons reminded council members that at the next meeting of city council, the proposed budget for 2012-2013 will be discussed.
That meeting will be held on the afternoon of May 3, Simons said.