The 47th annual Quincy Exchange Club's Law Officer of the Year Awards luncheon was held before an overflow crowd in Quincy at noon Friday at America's Best Value Inn. Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer and Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley were the co-chairmen for the event. Chief Copley introduced this year’s Law Officer of the Year, Quincy Police Officer Darla Pullins.  

Pullins, a 15 year veteran of the Quincy Police Department, risked her own life to save another on the Quincy Memorial Bridge on August 10 of last year. Pullins was able to talk to the subject for several minutes which was valuable time to allow fire rescue personnel to arrive on the scene. She was also able to get the subject to wrap a 20 foot K-9 lead around his chest which eventually was needed to save his life.

At one point Pullins was able to push the subject’s head back to keep him from falling off of the bridge girder. The subject was eventually rescued and his life spared thanks to Officer Pullins. For her efforts, she also received the Quincy Police Department’s Meritorious Service Award.

In order for Chief Copley to get Officer Pullins to the awards luncheon, he had to tell Darla that her father (Marv Hufford) was going to receive an award. To get her father there, Darla had to tell her father that she was going to be presented the award which to her own surprise turned out to be true.

Prior to that award presentation, the Citizen of the Year Award was presented to two recipients from the West Central Area Agency on Aging. The Director Lynn Niewohner and Assistant Director Todd Shackelford were named as co-winners by Mayor John Spring who handled that ceremony.

Lynn has been the Director since 1976 and Todd started his career in 1983. Both have helped create a better quality of life for seniors in the area for years.

The luncheon was capped off with a comments from the featured speaker Kevin T. McClain, the Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Mr. McClain has been instrumental in writing board legislation and rules and has participated in the development and implementation of the Mobile Team Training Program used by many agencies including the Illinois Terrorism Task Force and the State Emergency Response Center.