Officer Travis Griffin receives Character Award for courage
Aiken City Council Chambers was packed with fellow officers, family and residents there in support of Aiken Public Safety Officer Travis Griffin on Monday night.Griffin was recognized for his bravery during a shooting incident that occurred in late December in which Master Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson lost his life.With Griffin’s family by his side, Mayor Fred Cavanaugh presented him with a Character Award for courage, shaking his hand and thanking him for his service.Griffin, 28, was one of two officers shot during a traffic stop near Brandt Court on the north side of the city on Dec. 20. He was struck in the chest, but his bulletproof vest saved his life.Richardson was also shot and succumbed to his wounds the morning of Dec. 21 after being rushed to Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Georgia.The officers of the C shift, the shift that Griffin and Richardson worked, were also present and joined Griffin, which he had requested when City Manager Richard Pearce told him about the presentation. They were also given a Character Award for responsibility by the Cavanaugh.An overwhelming applause exploded from those present for the officers who stood before them. Pearce said he spent time with those officers the night of the incident and afterward, stating they have all shown courage and resilience."I’m telling you right now, these Public Safety officers represent the best of the best in South Carolina, in the southeastern United States and in the nation," Pearce said.The accused shooter, Stephon Carter, 19, of Aiken, who is charged with murder and attempted murder, is currently being held at the Aiken County detention center.Amy Banton is the city beat reporter and has been with the Aiken Standard since May 2010. She is a native of Rustburg, Va., and a graduate of Randolph Macon Woman’s College.