MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — First responders and law enforcement officials were honored Wednesday afternoon for their service to the Panhandle.

The Optimist Club of Marianna, in partnership with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, hosted the event.

Local first responders, policemen and sheriff’s deputies were recognized for their efforts and dedication to the community that they serve.

Many different divisions, Marianna Fire Rescue, Jackson County Fire Rescue, School Board S.R.O.’s and local law enforcement all had an individual receiving an award.

For the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Peggy Willis was recognized.

“I’m a little surprised, just because it’s not a one person team. It takes all of us. All of the people that were mentioned here and all the people behind the scenes that no one is aware of,” said Investigator Willis.

Recipients said it is an honor to serve their hometowns.

“I’m very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to work here. Like Sergeant Hollis said earlier, I still believe it’s a noble profession and I’m proud to work in it,” said Investigator Willis.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to receive such an award. I feel like it’s my job to protect the visitors and citizens of this community,” said FHP Senior Trooper, David ‘Shack’ Cox.

Public Information Officer for the Florida Highway Patrol, Lieutenant Jason King says he is proud to have fellow Senior Trooper David Cox recognized for his hard work.

“I would say Trooper Cox is one of the ones that goes above and beyond not just every now and then, but every day and night. He’s dedicated not only to the Florida Highway Patrol but also to Jackson County. He takes things personal for the people, to serve the people,” said LT. King.

King says the majority of the job is laying your life on the line… A job he says Trooper Cox does without thinking twice.

“He doesn’t look at a time clock, when it comes to serving or solving a situation. He looks at what’s the quickest avenue to get the answers, and how can we put someone in jail that deserves to be or how can we provide assistance to someone that deserves it. Without him in Jackson County or the state of Florida, we kind of fall short,” said Lt. King.

All the recipients at the awards ceremony say they are looking forward to continuing serving the Jackson county community.