Published Tuesday, May 13, 2014 --- 10:20 p.m.
From risking their own lives to saving someone else's, those who help keep the community safe were honored for their heroic actions Wednesday night at the Madison Police Department's annual awards ceremony.
Last September, Madison police and SWAT team members were involved in a 13-hour standoff with a man named Steven Boyle. Among the officers guarding the scene was K9 Gildon.
"And when it was time to enter, the dog went in first, was working through smoke and gas and did a very lengthy search in the house and ended up locating the person in the basement in the bathroom," said Sgt. Christine Boyd, who trains the K9 unit.
Sgt. Boyd says the suspect attacked Gildon but he was able to bite him on the knee, allowing the SWAT team to take Boyle into custody, and avoid a potential officer-involved shooting.
"All of our training came together," she said.
It's that training that the Madison Police Department recognized Wednesday, awarding Gildon and his handler Sgt. Jeff Felt the K9 Medal of Valor.
"They're able to provide such a level of safety for officers," Sgt. Boyd said. "They go through the doors first. They let officers know where people are before they approach them."
Also recognized for his dedication to the job, officer Lester Moore received the award for Outstanding Service. On the force for 15 years, he's an integral part of the Narcotics and Gang Task Force, partnering with community members who work with at-risk youth.
"Building relationships is the most important part of it," Moore said. "Arrest is just that tool we have when nothing else is going to work."
Moore is grateful for the honor. He says it means the department values his method of solving the gang problem in Madison. "I'm a parent, I have adult children, I have a young one, so I treat those kids as if they were my own in some ways."