WILMINGTON — State of Delaware courthouse security officer Jacqueline Green has been named both the 2021 Sunstates Security Officer of the Year and the recipient of the 2021 ASIS Ralph Day Award.
A Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts news release said the award came due to Ms. Green’s actions in May 2020 to protect the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center in Wilmington during protests that could have resulted in significant damage to the facility.
“We add our congratulations to Officer Green for this well-deserved recognition,” said Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. “We are indebted to Officer Green for her strength and courage by deescalating what could have become a dangerous situation for protesters and law enforcement.”
Sunstates is a private security firm that provides supplemental security support for Delaware state facilities — primarily at night and on weekends. ASIS International is a membership organization for security management professionals with hundreds of chapters around the world.
On Saturday, May 30, 2020, during a demonstration outside the Justice Center, a group of protesters pried open the front doors of the courthouse and streamed inside. Officer Green, who was on duty that day, intervened. While some protesters were directing people to enter the closed building, Officer Green “kept her cool, spoke with them, and deescalated the situation,” according to her employer.
Ms. Green further persuaded the protesters to leave the premises peacefully and resume their activities outside. Officer Green then kept the building secure until the police arrived.
The events were captured on video and footage was circulated by news organizations and on social media platforms.
Officer Green received her honor, along with a bonus check from the Raleigh, North Carolina-based Sunstates in May 2021, after being selected from among 17 nominees. Sunstates employs over 3,500 across the country.
Officer Green was then nominated for and subsequently received the ASIS Ralph Day Security Officer Heroism Award from the Alexandria, Virginia-based ASIS International.
She accepted the award during a virtual ceremony on Sept. 23, 2021. The award, given annually by ASIS, recognizes security professionals who perform a heroic act at the risk of harm to themselves.
“Her ability to remain calm and controlled during this very challenging situation as the events unfolded was simply outstanding and resulted in a peaceful resolution,” said Sunstates Chief Operating Officer Denis Kelly in a statement.
For her part, Officer Green, who has been working for Sunstates and assigned to the Justice Center since January 2019, said she has been surprised by all the attention.
“I love this building like it’s my home,” she said.