Jason Powell, a Collins, Miss. native who is a detective with The University of Southern Mississippi Police Department, received the department’s prestigious Medal of Valor during a ceremony held on the university’s Hattiesburg campus in June.
Powell earned the award for his actions on Nov. 28, 2012 when he responded to a report of a fight on campus involving a firearm. He began investigating the area and encountered three suspects coming across Centennial Lawn.
Parked near the old Copy Center building, Powell witnessed one of the suspects reach into a vehicle and pull out a black handgun. The armed individual then appeared to focus in on a group of people walking from Centennial Lawn toward the Cochran Center, at which time Powell made the decision to apprehend him, pinning him to the ground until backup arrived.
“I did the job any of us would have done. I made the decision without hesitation,” Powell said, adding that “it speaks highly of our administration to recognize us, because so many in our profession go unrecognized.”
Powell has been with University Police since 2009.
"Detective Powell’s actions that day potentially prevented the loss of life and serious injury to members of the campus community,” said Southern Miss Police Chief Bob Hopkins. “He performed above and beyond the call of duty, and his actions of personal bravery without thought of the consequences to his personal safety are worthy of this recognition."