CONCORD, N.C. — The Concord community honored a fallen police officer Friday while presenting an award to thank a veteran law enforcement officer for their service.
Local law enforcement officers gathered with the public at the Cabarrus County Government Center for the presentation of the Robert J. Eury Award, given to an officer with at least 20 years of experience. This year, the award went to Lt. Allen Tomlin Jr. with the Kannapolis Police Department, and in a news release the City of Kannapolis noted Tomlin's contributions to the community beyond his time in uniform. Most notably, Allen has his own part-time landscaping business and often mows lawns belonging to elderly or sick citizens at no charge, and with no fanfare.
“Allen truly embraces a servant-leadership philosophy. He never asks someone to do a task he would not do himself and he is always willing to help others. He has a sense of humbleness and is gracious with his time and money with no expectation of recognition. Officers like Lt. Tomlin are America's quiet heroes who often go unnoticed and unappreciated until those critical moments when we need them. To live with honor and serve with integrity in a dangerous and demanding job requires men and women of exceptional character, courage, and commitment. Lt. Tomlin certainly displays all these attributes,” said Kannapolis Police Chief Terry Spry. “The only way we know about any of the acts of kindness he does is when a fellow officer or member of the community tells us. He never seeks attention himself.”
The award was named after the officer of the same name who also died in the line of duty. The ceremony also honored an officer who more recently died in the line of duty: Concord Police Ofc. Jason Nicholas Shuping.
Shuping was one of two officers shot by a carjacking suspect on December 6, 2020. While the other officer lived and the suspect was killed in a shootout with responding officers, Shuping lost his life. He became the second officer in the Concord Police Department's history to die in the line of duty.
The ceremony honored Shuping's service with the presentation of a nameplate to be added to the Cabarrus County Fallen law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Additionally, last year's award recipient, Concord deputy police chief Jimmy Hughes, received special recognition as his award was presented in a private ceremony amidst COVID-19. The keynote speaker for the ceremony was U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.
"Jason had just begun his career in law enforcement, he was a young man with a bright future," Tillis said Friday. "He was an outstanding police officer who courageously ran to danger to protect our community."
"At age 25, Jason and Haley, had their whole lives ahead of them. I understand, talking with Haley earlier today they were high school sweethearts, married for a couple of years, but in love for many more," Tillis said, referring to Shuping's wife.
After the ceremony, Concord PD announced they would posthumously honor Shuping with the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart awards in a special ceremony on Thursday, May 13. The ceremony will happen at 6 p.m. inside the council chambers at City Hall. Police chief Gary Gacek is set to will present the awards to Shuping's wife.
This also falls on National Law Enforcement Day, which honors law enforcement officers for their service.
Since 1899, seven officers in Cabarrus County have fallen in the line of duty:
- William J. Kearns, Concord Police Department: September 2, 1899
- William F. Propst, Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office: November 17, 1922
- Martin Reuben Kiser, Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office: March 3, 1931
- Robert J. Eury, Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office: May 5, 1972
- Roger Dale Carter, Kannapolis Police Department: December 31, 1993
- Jackie L. Daniel, North Carolina DMV: July 28, 1994
- Jason N. Shuping, Concord Police Department: December 16, 2020
Shuping was not the only officer to fall in the line of duty that week in December 2020; Ofc. Tyler Herndon with the Mount Holly Police Department was also shot and killed in the line of duty, and two other officers in the Charlotte area were shot and wounded. The man who shot Herndon was charged with first-degree murder.
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