The 2023 Silver Star medal is awarded for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances.
The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish himself or herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgement.
2023 Silver Star recipients
Geoff Edwards, Correctional Officer, Centinela State Prison
A neighbor’s survival came down to the quick thinking and decisive actions of Officer Edwards. In January 2022, he was off duty at his home in San Diego when he heard a commotion coming from his neighbor’s house.
His neighbor’s brother and her boyfriend had a verbal argument that escalated into a physical fight because of the boyfriend’s domestic violence against the sister.
The boyfriend retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and opened fire on the brother.
The neighbor’s brother was shot and collapsed directly across from Officer Edwards’ house.
Hearing gunfire, he immediately ran to the victim to assess his injuries.
Both Officer Edwards and his wife, who has medical training, provided aid to the victim until the San Diego Police Department and other responders arrived to take over care.
Thanks to Officer Edwards’ courage and commitment to service, even while off-duty, he helped save a neighbor’s life.
Harold Gaskill, Correctional Officer, Ironwood State Prison
Had it not been for the actions of Officer Gaskill in assisting a Blythe Police Officer struggling to handcuff an armed suspect on the side of the highway, the circumstances could have taken a devastating turn.
On a Tuesday morning in April 2022, Officer Gaskill was driving on I-10 from Arizona toward Blythe, when he came upon the scene.
Three more people were sitting outside the vehicle close to the lone police officer.
Officer Gaskill immediately pulled over and removed his cover shirt that was covering his CDCR uniform and ran towards the police officer.
When the officer saw him approaching, he said there was a gun on the road near the three individuals and asked him to cover them while he handcuffed the suspect.
Officer Gaskill drew his personal off-duty weapon and covered the three other people until backup officers from the Blythe Police Department arrived on the scene and took them into custody.
Jocelyn Davison, Correctional Sergeant, San Quentin State Prison
A grocery store run the day before Thanksgiving rarely goes smoothly.
This was especially true last year, when Sgt. Davison made an unplanned detour, coming upon a fiery scene and rescuing a woman.
On their way to a Target in Modesto, Sgt. Davison, her sister, and a friend spotted smoke in an orchard and pulled over to investigate. It turned out to be a travel trailer on fire.
A woman was lying next to the trailer, badly burned and incoherent.
Fearing the trailer would blow up, Sgt. Davison pulled the woman away from the fire and rendered first aid while her companions sprayed the flames with water from a hose.
After firefighters and other responders arrived to assume the care of the victim and extinguish the blaze, Sgt. Davison and her companions went home, covered with soot.
They cleaned up and resumed their holiday shopping for sweet potatoes, marshmallows, and brown sugar, while the victim was taken to a hospital for treatment, fortunate for having crossed paths with Sgt. Davison.