The Gold Medal of Valor
On Wednesday December 6, 2017 the Yuba County Sheriff had a special awards ceremony. Three deputies, Sgt. Brandon Spear, Deputy Nathan Byrom and Deputy Andrew Thomas were presented with special commendations for exemplary performance in their efforts related to the illegal cultivation of Marijuana.
Three deputies, Phillip Bronson, Andrew Everhart, and Daniel Harris were presented with the Gold Medal of Valor.
The Gold Medal of Valor is the highest decoration for bravery exhibited by public safety officers in the United States, comparable to the military's Medal of Honor. Previously there were only two recipients of the Gold Medal of Valor in Yuba County, Yuba County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian E. Meilbeck was awarded posthumously and Sergeant Kenny Smith. Smith still works with search and rescue.
The incident happened on August 1, 2017. Two deputies Phillip Bronson and Andrew Everhart responded to a Marijuana related disturbance call in Oregon House. Upon arrival the two deputies responding pursued a suspect, matching the description they were given, into a mobile home. As they were clearing the home they were met with gunfire, both were hit twice, and returned gunfire. While unknown at the time it was believed that they hit the suspect. Both deputies were laying wounded in the mobile home. A third officer, Daniel Harris, had been watching the back of the home. He entered the home twice and pulled the two deputies to safety.
The two deputies were flown to Sutter Roseville where they underwent extensive surgery.
The “Thin Blue Line” flag was presented to the Deputies that received the Gold Medal of Valor and was a gift from the NYPD “Honor Legion”. It came about after a retired NYPD Officer who was traveling through Northern Ca. on vacation during the time of the incident, heard of the officers shooting and responded to the hospital, where he introduced himself to Sheriff Durfor. They later signed the flag and asked Sheriff Durfor to present it to the three involved in the shooting. The Sheriff is sending a photo of the deputies and the flag to NYPD Honor Legion at their request. The NYPD Honor Legion will post the picture in their Honor Legion Display as well as publishing an article about the incident.