9/30/2009 : Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown Receives Freedom Award
Jackson Parish Sheriff Andy Brown has been selected as a 2009 recipient of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

The award represents the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. 

“In the eight years our nation has been at war, America’s employers-almost universally-have done an outstanding job of supporting their Citizen Warrior employees,” said Dennis M. McCarthy, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs.  “These fifteen employers are the ‘best of the best’ this year.  They reflect the powerful synergy that exists between the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve, and their employers.”

Sheriff Brown is one of fifteen winners from across the nation selected from a record 3,200 employers nominated this year.

The ceremony will be held on September 17, 2009 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.  Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will present the award to Brown. 

In addition to receiving this honor, Brown was also one of three recipients selected to speak at the ceremony.

Seven of Brown’s 110 employees are currently Guardsmen/Reserves.  Brown’s support for his employees includes providing differential pay between their military pay and the Sheriff’s Department salary, and upholding medical and life insurance benefits during deployments.

Deputy Brent Barnett, a shift supervisor with the Sheriff’s K-9 division nominated Brown for the award in order to recognize Sheriff Brown for his outstanding support for his National Guard and Reserve Employees.
“Sheriff Brown goes out of his way to support the Guard, leaving salary and benefits intact,” Barnett said.  “Most people don’t understand that a lot of guys are part-time soldiers and have full-time civilian careers.”

Brown simply looks at his support as a way that he can give back and contribute to those in service.  “When you go off to Afghanistan or Iraq and are deployed for six months to a year, it is peace of mind to know you’ll get your job back, to know your bills are met and your family is taken care of,” Brown said.

Not only does Sheriff Brown support his military employees during deployment, but also during times of natural disaster.  The Sheriff’s department provided vehicles and other resources to deployed deputies to aid them during their humanitarian relief efforts.

Previously, the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Department received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) “Pro Patria Award” and the “Above and Beyond Award” for their support of National Guard and Reserve Employees.

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