Kent Police officers receive awards for outstanding work

Kent Police officers Kenneth Clay and Doug Westcott each received awards for their outstanding work from Chief Steve Strachan at the Feb. 16 City Council meeting.

Clay received a Lifesaving Medal for rescuing an elderly man from a house fire Nov. 27 in the 12100 block of Kent-Kangley Road.

Clay, a former Enumclaw volunteer firefighter, was the first person to arrive at the house fire. He ran after a woman who had gone back into the home, although smoke was billowing from the structure.

Clay found the woman in the kitchen trying to pull an elderly man toward the door. Clay then lifted the man over his shoulder and carried him out of the house to safety.

"The man would not have survived," Strachan said.

Three people were displaced by the fire but nobody was injured.

Strachan presented a medal to Clay to wear on his uniform.

Westcott received a plaque for the Chief's Award for Distinguished Service, for his work with the Kent Police Explorer Program.

The Kent Explorer post, which is open to youth ages 14 to 21, helps bridge the gap between Kent youth and law enforcement, giving members of the program an insight into the police profession.

Westcott has worked 14 years as an advisor to the program.

More than 100 young people have received job skills and leadership training through the explorer post during Westcott's work as an advisor.

"These two awards are indicative of our profession," Strachan said. "One is about ongoing commitment to young people. The other is an example of a specific incident where an officer made a split-second decision that changed a life. Both of these epitomize what it is to be a police officer."

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