Attorney General Ashley Moody announced two new Back the Blue Award recipients from the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. Sergeant Colby Beck, a first responder recently injured while stopping an active shooter, and Deputy Reese Dew who rushed to administer first aid to the injured officer. Running 4 Heroes Inc. founder, Zechariah Cartledge, himself the first winner of Moody’s very first “Back the Blue” winner, presented the officers with the awards last Friday.
Along with Moody’s award, Zechariah presented Sgt. Beck with $7,500 from the Running 4 Heroes Injured First Responder Grant. Running 4 Heroes is a non-profit organization with a mission to raise funds for injured first responders and pay tribute to fallen first responders through running.
In February 2019, Attorney General Moody presented Zechariah the first ever Attorney General Back the Blue Award, for his support of law enforcement and commitment to honor fallen heroes nationwide. Zechariah, 10-years-old at the time, began running one mile for each law enforcement officer and firefighter lost in the line of duty and began raising funds for those injured in the line of duty in 2019.
“It is an honor and privilege to recognize the efforts of Calhoun County Sergeant Colby Beck and Deputy Reese Dew. Sergeant Beck’s heroic response undoubtedly saved many lives through his discipline and courage in the face of an active shooter, sustaining injuries himself to protect others. Deputy Dew’s quick response helped save Beck’s life. I am proud to recognize these two heroes and thrilled our first-ever Back the Blue Award winner Zechariah Cartledge was able to present them with the awards,” said Moody.
“Zechariah has shown an extraordinary level of maturity in his gratitude and service to our first responders. At just 11-years-old, he has already raised nearly $40,000 in relief funds for injured first responders. We can all learn a thing or two from Sergeant Beck, Deputy Dew and Zechariah, who are each shining examples of service over self.”
“It is amazing to me to be able to present this grant to this Sergeant. This is really special to me because this man put his life on the line to keep people safe here in my home state, and I am very honored to present this $7,500 grant to Sgt. Beck,” said Cartledge.
On May 30, Sgt. Beck responded to an active shooter situation that lead to an exchange of gunfire resulting in Sgt. Beck being shot in the lower leg, shattering both the tibia and fibula. Deputy Dew rushed to Beck’s side and immediately began administering medical aid. Despite the injuries, Sgt. Beck engaged the shooter—saving many lives. Sgt. Beck was rushed to a local hospital for emergency surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery and plans to return to the line of duty once healed.
Sgt. Beck, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is serving in his fifth year with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, previously working as a deputy with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Beck is training to be a law enforcement helicopter pilot and serves on the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force. Deputy Dew has served with Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office for two years after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in homeland security from Keiser University.
Running 4 Heroes founder Zechariah Cartledge presented Sgt. Beck a $7,500 award. This is the seventh grant presented by Zechariah, bringing the total grant money awarded to injured heroes by the 11-year-old to $39,500.
Zechariah founded Running 4 Heroes in January 2019. Just 10-years-old at the time, Zechariah began running one mile for every fallen hero killed in the line of duty. The mission expanded as Zechariah began receiving pledged donations for each mile run. Donations are used to purchase the American flags Zechariah runs with to honor each fallen hero. Zechariah presents the flags to families of the fallen officer once completing each run. Donations are also used as contributions to provide financial relief to first responders injured in the line of duty. To date, Zechariah has run 569 miles for fallen and injured first responders.