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Community Hero: Corporal Fitzgerald receives VFW’s National Law Enforcement Award

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He's a man that devotes his time to helping people when they're at rock bottom. Our KLEW Community Hero is a man who was just honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, for his work at the Nez Perce County Detention Center.

Corporal, Mark Fitzgerald was just honored with the VFW’s National Law Enforcement Award. "It's actually very wonderful." He is a shift commander for the detention center.

He said he always wanted to work in law enforcement. "I managed different businesses throughout my life, and a job opened up at the jail and I was hired," said Corporal Fitzgerald. He uses his job to help turn inmates lives around. "It's nice to be able to get people, get them to see where they're making mistakes, what they can do to better themselves. And it's great to see them at Walmart or whatever and say, ‘hey I haven't been in so long and I want to thank you.’"

Corporal Fitzgerald said working at the jail is often a stepping stone for people wanting to be officers. He uses his position to help others reach their goals. "I train the young deputies. It's a big proud moment for me each time one of them gets promoted to patrol or to city police or to Idaho State Police."

It's his work for inmates, and fellow detention officers that got him the award.

For him, getting an award from the VFW has a special significance. "I was in the army for 8+ years. From Germany I was shipped to operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm. Then my unit deactivated and we came back here. I was out not too long after that."

And Nez Perce County Sheriff Joe Rodriquez agrees, the award is much deserved. "It's a privilege in honor of Nez Perce county, and we talked about the things that mark has accomplished in his career with Nez Perce county prior to the meeting and I just want to say thank you very much," said Sheriff Rodriguez.

Corporal Fitzgerald said in the end it's all about helping his community.

If you know someone you would like to nominate for KLEW Community Heroes, send their name and an explanation why to heroes@klewtv.com

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