York County man earns Congressional Badge of Bravery

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Detective Roy Gibbs speaks in front of a crowd after receiving the Congressional Badge of Bravery on Thursday, Sept. 12.

A York County man on Thursday was awarded the Congressional Badge of Bravery after rescuing a colleague shot in the line of duty in 2017.

Roy Gibbs, a detective with the Baltimore County Police Department, was presented the award in Washington, D.C., at an event co-hosted by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

"It's a lot of different things going on. I feel proud to be recognized, but it's humbling. You feel awkward with the attention," Gibbs said. "I feel like a 5-year-old who's learning how to talk sometimes, when it comes to trying to describe that sort of emotion."

In June 2017, Gibbs responded to a routine burglary call, which soon escalated to a 5½ minute gun fight with more than 100 rounds exchanged, officials said.

His fellow officer, Erica Slocum, was shot in the right side and was unable to get up from the ground. Gibbs reacted by rushing to Slocum's side and pulling her to safety.

Roy Gibbs and Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., shake hands after Gibbs is presented the Congressional Badge of Bravery on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Thursday's award ceremony was at the U.S. Senate Budget Committee office on Capitol Hill. 

At the event were Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, and Robert Hur, U.S. attorney for the district of Maryland, were also in attendance.

Gibbs, originally from Massachusetts, joined the Baltimore County Police Department in 1999. He previously served three years with the Baltimore City Police Department. 

A resident of York County, Gibbs requested his city of residence remain confidential because of the sensitive nature of his work. 

The Congressional Badge of Bravery honors individuals who exhibit "exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers," according to a news release.

Detective Roy Gibbs sits with his son, Alex, before receiving the Congressional Badge of Bravery. Gibbs is one of 18 recipients of the award for the 2017 term.

"Detective Gibbs qualifies as a hero because he knowingly and intentionally risked his own life to save the life of a fellow police officer who had been shot," said Senator Toomey. "I think it’s just terrific we have a way to recognize and honor his bravery, his heroism."

Gibbs was one of 18 recipients chosen by U.S. Attorney General William Barr for the 2017 term.

Gibbs was nominated for the award by Sgt. Matthew Wilking and Capt. Scott Canter, who filed the paperwork, and former police Chief Terrence Sheridan, who officially submitted the nomination.

"It's hard to find words sometimes to how you feel," Gibbs said. "It catches you a little flat-footed."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.