Lexington Medical Center police officer James Michael “Mike” Brazell has received the J.P. Strom Award from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. This honor is the top award in the Basic Law Enforcement Class and goes to the student who has attained the highest cumulative academic score for all tests.

“This award shows Mr. Brazell’s dedication to law enforcement and his academic excellence,” said Major Matthew Braxton, interim Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety at Lexington Medical Center. “It also demonstrates the quality of officers employed within our hospital police department.”

Brazell was one of 67 people from around South Carolina who began training on April 17 to become certified law enforcement officers. Participants in the 12-week course completed six tests on legal processes, and showed proficiency in defensive tactics, driving, firearms, and driving under the influence (DUI) standard field sobriety application and breath alcohol analysis. 

A minimum of 96 percent average had to be obtained to qualify to receive the J.P. Strom Award and no student who failed to complete the testing aspects or had any disciplinary issues was eligible for the award. Brazell is Lexington Medical Center’s first J.P. Strom Award winner.

The Lexington Medical Center Department of Public Safety is an accredited law enforcement agency. In 2006, Lexington Medical Center became the first hospital in South Carolina to create its own police department. The hospital’s police officers have the authority to carry weapons, issue citations and make arrests, similar to any other police officer or county deputy. There are currently 24 police officers on the hospital’s force.

The department also coordinates hospital safety efforts ranging from crime prevention, criminal investigation and crime reporting to emergency preparedness, escorts and vehicle assistance.

Pictured L to R: Michael Lanier, Deputy Director of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy; James Michael “Mike” Brazell, Lexington Medical Center police officer; and Major Matthew Braxton, Lexington Medical Center Interim Director of Public Safety