Introduced Version House Resolution 23 History

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By Delegate Hanshaw (Mr. Speaker)

on behalf of the entire membership


March 11, 2023

Supporting the Medal of Valor nomination of retired Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy John Westfall as recommended by the First Responders Honor Board.

Whereas, The Medal of Valor is awarded to firefighters, law-enforcement officers, and emergency medical services personnel who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives above and beyond the call of duty in the performance of their duties; and

Whereas, The First Responders Honor Board has submitted to the Speaker of the House of Delegates the following nominee for the Legislature’s consideration:

Retired Deputy John Westfall of the Roane County Sheriff’s Department; and

Whereas, On the evening of August 28, 2012, Deputy Westfall responded to the scene of a reported shooting at the Wallback exit of Interstate 79 in Clay County, near the Roane County line; and

Whereas, After responding to the scene, Deputy Westfall saw that two of his fellow law-enforcement officers had been cruelly and cowardly shot from behind; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall discovered that West Virginia State Police Corporal Marshall Bailey had been fatally shot and killed; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall ascertained that Corporal Bailey’s partner, West Virginia State Trooper Eric Workman, had been shot, receiving a mortal wound; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall knew that the murderer had fled the scene; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall realized that the murderer was a grave danger to the men, women, and children who lived in that area; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall and other law-enforcement officers began searching for the murderer; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall and other law-enforcement officers demonstrated tremendous courage by searching for an armed and dangerous murderer in a wooded area wherein there were countless places to hide; and

Whereas, The suspect ambushed Deputy Westfall and other law enforcement officers, firing his weapon at them during the course of their search; and

Whereas, In the exchange of gunfire, Deputy Westfall was struck multiple times, which resulted in life-changing physical and emotional injuries; and

Whereas, After a surgery and excruciating physical therapy, Deputy Westfall was able to achieve a level of physical recovery enabling him to bravely return to duty; and

Whereas, After his return to duty, Deputy Westfall continued to protect and serve with courage and integrity; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall is now honorably retired from law enforcement; and

Whereas, The career of Deputy Westfall as a Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy and his dedication and service in upholding the rule of law in our state is worthy of the utmost respect and emulation; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall demonstrated singular heroism and leonine courage by hunting for an armed and dangerous murderer, willingly placing himself in harm’s way to protect the lives of others; and

Whereas, Deputy Westfall’s heroic actions in the line of duty, his willingness to lay down his life for the people of West Virginia, his fortitude in the face of great danger, and his unwavering dedication to duty reflect great credit upon himself, the Roane County Sheriff’s Department, and the law-enforcement officers of this state; and

Whereas, The House of Delegates is honored to support the nomination of this deserving hero for the Medal of Valor and is eternally grateful for his service and sacrifice; therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Delegates:

That the House of Delegates hereby supports the Medal of Valor nomination of retired Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy John Westfall upon adoption of this resolution; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Governor shall bestow the Medal of Valor upon the nominee, retired Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy John Westfall, upon adoption of this resolution; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the retired Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy John Westfall and his family, the West Virginia State Police, and the Roane County Sheriff’s Department.

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