A Black school police officer stepped in and saved a student when an eighth-grader reportedly stabbed a teacher in the chest last October with a butcher knife and then grabbed another student.
Now Nicolette McLeod-Pinnock, a Gwinnett school resource officer, is being honored for her efforts with an award that recognizes acts of heroism.
She received the Officer of the Year Award for Valor from the Peace Officers Association of Georgia Tuesday at the group’s annual conference in Savannah, according to Atlanta TV station WXIA.
In the incident last year at Trickum Middle School in Lilburn, the resource officer disarmed the student and took the accused child into custody. The teacher survived her wound.
“Initially, I didn’t know what I was responding to,” McLeod-Pinnock told WXIA. “I thought it was going to be a fight but they told me the student had a knife.”
She said receiving the award was “a humbling experience.”
“It was a tragic situation but I’m glad that, with my training, I was able to prevent anyone else from getting hurt,” McLeod-Pinnock said to the station.
Officer McLeod-Pinnock is the first Gwinnett County school resource officer to receive the award, the news station reported.
Gwinnett County Schools Police Chief Wayne Rickard commended the woman in a statement to WXIA.
“She handled the situation at Trickum in a very professional manner and it should be comforting to parents and all of us in the Gwinnett community that we have officers like her working in our schools,” Rickard said in the statement.