SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County’s sheriff received an unexpected honor Thursday at the Coast Guard Station at Fort Pulaski.

The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security presented Sheriff John Wilcher with the Meritorious Public Service Award. It’s the second-highest public service award given by the Coast Guard to recognize substantial contributions.

During the height of the pandemic, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office lent a helping hand to the Coast Guard by allowing them to use their facilities for training.

Wilcher said it’s a part of his duty to serve the community.

“The Coast Guard is part of the community, the Air Force and any other military base here is always part of the community, just like the other agencies,” the sheriff added. “It’s just something we do. We wanna make sure everyone gets the proper training so they can better theirselves.”

Wilcher has been working for the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office for more than 45 years. He was sworn in as sheriff back in 2017.