The banquet, which took place at the Ornelas Activity Center, included dinner, a retirement slide show and award presentations for 2012.
Chief Gary Swindle said it’s an opportunity for families and local officials to see department members recognized for their service to the community.
While residents are resting comfortably at home, department members — those who won awards and those who didn’t — are responding to calls, directing traffic and working to keep the city safe, he said.
Awards were presented for rookie, officer, sworn supervisor, civilians and unit of the year. Merit-based awards such also were among those given out. Swindle said a nomination committee reviews ballots and makes final award decisions.
The Officer of the Year was Ethan Johnson, who was called “highly respected.”
He “exhibits the utmost professionalism in the image he presents for the Tyler Police Department. This officer has only been with the department for three years, but in that short time has exhibited his strong work ethic and willingness to help others,” said KYTX CBS19 Meteorologist Doc Deason, who served as master of ceremonies. “He works well with both citizens and officers and strives to make the city a better place. He works well in a team environment and continually strives to be a better officer. This officer always takes the time to help new officers and offer assistance wherever he can.”
Johnson said he was excited about receiving his award, which was unexpected.
He said everyone he works with probably deserves the award as much as he does.
“I’m happy to work for the city. It’s an excellent police department. We all work hard to protect citizens,” Johnson said.
The Rookie of the Year was Officer Brandon Lott, who was called a “hard worker,” “highly motivated” and “knowledgeable of the law and his duties.”
“He has been the first on scene in hostile situations and responded like a veteran officer. He has quickly earned the respect of his fellow officers by listening and learning from those around him and distinguishing himself as a standout officer,” Deason said.
Lott said the award is an honor, and he couldn’t have done what he has without support from his family.
Plainclothes Officer of the Year was Detective Royce Jordan.
“He does a thorough job of investigating forgeries and frauds that can often be tedious, long-term investigations with no recognition at the end,” he said. “Despite all that he has on his desk he always has an excellent attitude, a smile, and often a ‘Royceism’ that will make you laugh.”
Sworn Supervisor of the Year was Lt. Russell Jacks, who has been with the department 19 years and leads the SWAT team.
He is described as a “great leader for the department” who “does not expect anything from officers that he does not expect from himself.”
“He listens and is always happy to assist with any concerns that officers may have. He serves not only by supervising patrol but by leading through his actions and his demeanor,” Deason said.
The 2012 Unit of the Year went to the bicycle unit.
Deason said the unit goes to special events throughout Tyler and must constantly change schedules and work different areas “depending on where problems are occurring.”
The Civilian Employee of the Year was Michael Cox, who has worked for the department more than 14 years.
“He is an excellent team player and gets along with everyone. He is hard-working and is always willing to handle any assignment that comes his way. He is always willing to assist other city departments and is friendly and respectful to everyone he meets. He is a public service officer that takes pride in his work,” Deason said.
The Civilian Supervisor of the Year was Erin Walker.
Deason said she is a great dispatcher and supervisor who is known for her dedication and integrity and is concerned about officer safety.
“She is always upbeat and friendly and is willing to answer questions and help in any way that she can,” he said.
The Volunteer of the Year is Chaplain Jerry Page.
According to the department, he “always comes in with a wonderful attitude and a greeting for everyone that he sees” and “is always available whenever he is needed.”
Tyler Patrolman’s Association Awards were: the President’s Award to Roddey Hogan and the Excellence in Policing Award to Detective David Cook.
Among the other Tyler Police Department Awards were: Life Saving Awards for officers Jason Compton and Johnny Green and Public Safety Officer Rebekah Hill; Certificates of Merit to Officer Clay Allen and Communications Evening Shift Supervisor Erin Walker; and Citizens Certificate of Merit to John Craig.