SALEM, Va. – The Salem Police Department is honoring a retired Marine as its Officer of the Year.
Joe Holder, 26, is a North Carolina native who has been with the Salem Police Department for four years. This past year, however, was unique for him.
Holder found himself in two life-or-death situations in 2018 -- an incident involving an unresponsive -month-old infant and a man with a self-inflicted injury.
According to the department, Holder's "professional, focused and clearheaded responses to both instances led his fellow officers in Salem to select him for this annual honor."
"I try to hold myself and my peers to a higher standard each day," said Holder. "I have a very difficult time accepting compliments and commendations, so I have a hard time believing that I deserve this honor for what I did."
Holder came to the department after four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He joined the Marines after graduating from Danville's Westover Christian Academy. He will be formally honored by the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce on Friday.