Corrections officer awarded Liberty Medal for thwarting kidnapping while off duty
Press Release, State Sen. Rob Ortt
Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) today awarded the New York State Senate Liberty Medal to Tommy Brice, a corrections officer at the Orleans Correctional Facility who potentially saved the life of a 16-year-old girl after he prevented her kidnapping in 2016.
The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is the highest honor an individual can receive by the state Senate. Similar to the national Congressional Gold Medal, the award is bestowed upon individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.
On May 16, 2016, Brice stopped at a gas station in Albion on his way home from work. While pumping gas, he noticed a young girl walking down the street with an older man following closely behind her. Brice said the girl looked uncomfortable and nervous as the man repeatedly approached her trying to talk to her.
He noticed the girl attempted to walk faster to try to get away from the suspicious man. At that point, Brice decided to intervene and immediately drove up to the girl to ask her if something was wrong. When she started crying, Brice instantly called the police. Brice then followed the man back to a local motel and waited for police to arrive. When the police entered the man’s motel room, they found four knives lined up on the bed. The man told police he had intended to abduct the young girl.
Senator Ortt said, “Correction Officer Brice went above and beyond the badge. Like so many members of law enforcement, Correction Officer Brice’s decisive action thwarted a kidnapping and dangerous, life-threatening situation. His instincts, training and quick thinking most likely saved that little girl’s life and are worthy of this honor. I am proud to recognize him today for his bravery and heroic actions.”
Last month, Brice earned the Medal of Merit from the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for his courageous actions that day. Brice is a seven-year veteran of the Orleans Correctional Facility.