Wounded Cop Earns Purple Heart

Star Corporal White (l) and Chief Flynn
Star Corporal White (l) and Chief Flynn

It's been a  big day for the Savannah Police Department. In a ceremony at the Savannah police barracks, 11 officers from the narcotics team and the GBI received some much deserved recognition for outstanding police work. Just last week, they made an arrest in connection with three murders stretching back almost four years. The officers say it's all in a day's work for them.

"Detectives, captains, it's everyone coming together for a common goal, bringing justice to people that committed the heinous crimes in the community," said SDP Chief Dan Flynn.

During today's ceremony, another outstanding officer was honored. You might remember Star Corporal Martin White. He was shot in the line of duty last December. He's doing much better since that night when he was sitting in his patrol car keeping an eye on a convenience store that was having trouble when a man came up to him and shot him at point-blank range in the neck and throat. White had a long and difficult recovery and today his fellow officers honored him.

Star Corporal Martin White was recognized with one of the department's highest honors, the purple heart.

"I didn't think it would happen, but I'm grateful that it did," White said.

Police say White was shot by Ahmad Johnson, who is now behind bars. After months of a painful and difficult recovery, White is now counting down the days until he can go back to work. But wife Terri says she tells him to take it one day at a time. "My husband is not 100 percent, but he's coming along pretty well."

He is well enough for his peers to recognize him as a hero.

"When someone puts their life on the line for the community, it's the highest distinction for any law enforcement officer," said Chief Flynn.

But White is surprised with all the attention. He says he's not a hero, that he was just doing his job.

"I don't know about that," he said. "No one told me I'd be a hero."

This isn't the first award for White. He was also named Officer of the Year by the Savannah Area Exchange Club.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com