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PBA Member Receives Award for Bravery

 

By Zilla W Taylor

NC Patrolman's Journal

 

 

 

On Monday February 21, Sergeant Ronald Waller received the Z Award in a ceremony at the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.

 

The award, created by the family of the late Wake County Commissioner Larry Zieverink, recognizes a Deputy Sheriff, with a rank up to Sergeant. Zieverink served as Wake County Commissioner from 1980 to 1988. Each award recipient receives a special gift of $500.

 

 

Waller received the award for the actions that he took on June 2, 2021, in the performance of his duties.

 

On this date, Waller was executing an eviction notice at a Raleigh apartment complex, when he was shot twice with an AK-47 through the door of an apartment. The rounds hit his right leg and the left hip. He lost several inches of bone in his leg with one of the rounds. Officers with the Raleigh Police department were able to get him out of harms’ way and he transported to Wake Medical Center.

 

WTVD-11 was one of many news outlets that covered the event. They reported that Sheriff Gerald Baker got teary-eyed presenting the award. He said the Z Award truly represents the best of the department and only goes to the deputies exceeding the standards and commitment to the community. [1]

 

The report continued with Waller’s feelings about receiving the award. "I've always known about this award since I've been here the past 20 years. It feels good someone is showing some appreciation for what I've done," Waller said.

 

His wife Kimberly’s comments were also mentioned in the report. "We are very thankful that he's here; that he's walking. We didn't know if he was going to walk again, so I want to be and I'm going to remain thankful even though we had to go through this, there are good things that come through the bad sometimes," she said.

 

After he was hospitalized, there were serious discussions about having his leg amputated. A doctor in Charlotte was found to have experience with Waller’s situation and performed surgery to save his leg and allow him to use it again. During the surgery, bone from his foot was removed to allow a rod to be placed in his leg.

 

After a month in the hospital, Waller was released, and he started extensive rehabilitation. Kimberly has been instrumental in his recovery. They have been married for twenty-three years and have a son who is a senior in high school. She drives him to all his doctors’ appointments and physical therapy sessions which are three times a week.

 

Waller is originally from the Bronx, New York, where his mother was community organizer and his father worked with the New York City transit. He attended Chelsea Vocational High School in New York and graduated in 1985. He later graduated from North Carolina Wesleyan College with bachelor’s degree in justice studies.

 

 

An Air Force veteran, of 20 years, Waller did four years of active duty and sixteen years as a reservist with Air National Guard. He completed a deployed to Kuwait in 2005.

 

Waller started his career with the Sheriff’s Officer in 2002, after completing the academy. He was also interested in public service and thought this was where he could make a difference. He has spent most of his career in judicial services. His goal is to return to light duty and hopefully to full duty in the future.

 

Famed poet Maya Angelou has been part of his journey and he uses a quote from her to inspire him in his continuing recovery. She said, “You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.” 

 

For us that have followed Deputy Waller’s story, he has become the face of this quote. We continued to be inspired by his story and his dedication to return in service to the citizens of Wake County.

 

 


[1] Scott, T. (2022, February 22). Wake county deputy receives Z award months after being shot while serving Eviction Notice. ABC11 Raleigh-Durham.  Retrieved March 25, 2022, from https://abc11.com/ronald-waller-wake-county-deputy-z-award-larry-zieverink/11588901/

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