(KYTX) - The Tyler Police Department took a little time off tonight to honor their own.
This was the Annual Tyler Police Awards Banquet at the Ornelas Activity Center.
Officers gathered to a pay tribute to all who wear the badge, but also to single out those who stood out in several categories in 2013.
After dinner, the awards began, and those honored included Melinda Melarathe Rookie of the Year, Charles Chuck Boyce for Officer of the Year, and Sgt. Mike Saxion as Sworn Supervisor of the Year.
There was even an award for the Civilian of the Year that went to Lisa Evan.
Here is a list of all the winners honored tonight:
CITIZEN CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
On January 16, 2013, two suspects displayed handguns to the clerk and robbed the Food Fast located at 4201 University. Clarence Harris drove up to the store as the suspects were running away. Putting himself in danger, Mr. Harris followed the suspects until they ran into the woods. Mr. Harris returned to the Food Fast to check on the welfare of the clerk. Mr. Harris relayed this information to the Officers arriving on the scene. Using this information Officers were able to locate one of the suspects in the woods. Mr. Harris placed himself in great danger by pursuing two armed suspect. The Tyler Police Department is proud to present the Citizen Certificate of Merit to Clarence Harris.
CITIZEN CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
On April 11, 2013, Charles Williams observed suspects burglarizing his neighbor's residence. He contacted the Tyler Police Department and reported what he observed. He then met the first officer on the scene and pointed to one of the suspects. Mr. William's alertness and quick response aided the Tyler Police Department in arresting two individuals for burglary of a residence. Due to Charles William's unselfish devotion to his neighbors, the Tyler Police Department is proud to award him the Citizen Certificate of Merit.
CITIZEN CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
On August 27, 2013, the Tyler Police Department received information that a large amount of copper was stolen from a truck parked inside the fence of the City of Tyler Water Utilities Service Center. A day later Detective Jim Holt was talking to Tom Curtis, the manager of Tyler Iron and Metal, when Mr. Curtis told him of an individual who tried to sell some odd looking new copper piping. Mr. Curtis did not purchase the copper but wrote down the license plate of the vehicle that the person was driving. Detective Holt checked the information on the vehicle and found that it was a stolen vehicle. Detective Holt re-contacted Mr. Curtis and obtained a video of the stolen vehicle and the suspect attempting to sell the copper. Mr. Curtis' recognition of these unusual circumstances that he observed assisted the Tyler Police Department in arresting the suspect who stole 118 pounds of copper. Tyler Police Department is honored to award Tom Curtis the Citizen Certificate of Merit.
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
On September 17, 2013, Officer Gregory Harry observed a vehicle parked at a construction site near Gander Mountain in Tyler. Officer Harry contacted an individual that he observed walking out of a partially completed building. Officer Harry was given consent to search the individual's vehicle. Inside the vehicle Officer Harry located a large number of tools and a ladder. Believing that the items were stolen from the construction site Officer Harry had the vehicle impounded. Further investigation revealed that the individual was an ex-employee of one of the sub-contractors at the construction site. Officer Harry's attention to details aided in the recovery of a large amount of tools and an arrest for burglary of a building. The Tyler Police Department is proud to present the Certificate of Merit to Officer Gregory Harry.
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
On November 11, 2013, Officers Larry Christian Dan Forbey, Darrell Gardner, Chris Moore, Scott Behrend and Sgt. Mike Malone responded to a request to check the welfare of a female. A co-worker reported that she had not shown up for work and was not answering her phone. They were advised that she had recently been assaulted by her boyfriend and that she feared for her safety. Officers arrived at the residence and made several attempts to get a response from anyone inside. They did observe the mini blinds open briefly. These Officers were in fear for her safety and that she was being abused by her boyfriend. They forced entry into the residence and noticed that she had fresh wounds from an assault. A search of the residence located her boyfriend hiding in the trunk of a vehicle in the garage. Due to their persistence the Officers were able to rescue her and her two children from the residence without further harm. The Tyler Police Department is proud to present these Officers the Certificate of Merit.
On August 24, 2013 Officer Josh Hill was off duty, enjoying some with family and friends at Buffalo Wild Wings in Longview. While at the restaurant he observed the robbery of an individual. After assuring the safety of his family and patrons in the restaurant, he immediately gave chase and caught the suspect. He held them until Officer from the Longview Police Department could take custody of him. His quick response off duty put himself at personal risk and was a valuable assistance to the citizens of Longview. His actions were exemplary and brought credit to the Tyler Police Department. The Tyler Police Department is proud of Officer Josh Hill and is honored to present him the Police Commendation.
On January 8, 2013, a report was taken concerning the illegal use of identifying information from a local citizen. Detective Royce Jordan began an investigation of the case. He quickly realized that the case involved a large number of victims and suspects. Detective Jordan, Detective David Cook and Detective Jeff Roberts began compiling evidence of transactions, video surveillance and IP addresses used by the suspects. These Detectives were able to locate 22 victims and identified 19 suspects.Due to their diligence, meticulous attention to detail and organizational skills they were able to arrest the suspects for engaging in organized crime and other charges. The Tyler Police Department presents the Meritorious Conduct award to Detective Royce Jordan, Detective David Cook and Detective Jeff Roberts.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Our Volunteer of the year for 2013 attended the Citizen's Police Academy in 2009. After graduating and joining the CPA Alumni, he began volunteering his time with the Tyler Police Department.
He always comes in with a wonderful attitude and a greeting for everyone that he sees. He has logged numerous hours by helping maintain the fleet, regularly picking up pawn tickets from multiple locations and helped cook for about 350 city employees during the "Called to Serve" cook out. He not only volunteers his time with the Tyler Police Department but he also volunteers at Mother Frances Hospital. He has been a member of the CPA Alumni Scholarship Committee and currently serves as the CPA Alumni president. We are pleased to recognize our 2013 Volunteer of the Year, Robbie Campbell.
CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
This year's Civilian Employee of the Year represents the Tyler Police Department with a positive "can do" attitude. This employee has worked for the Tyler Police Department for a little over one year, but has made a great impression on her co-workers. She quickly had to learn her job and with very little training. She has been working by herself in a position that is normally held by two employees. She takes her work personal, strives to make no mistakes, sets high goals and routinely reaches those goals. She shows up early and stays late. She provides information to Detectives in a timely manner. She is constantly working and takes ownership of the evidence room. We are pleased to award this year's Civilian Employee of the Year to Lisa Evans.
CIVILIAN SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR
The Civilian Supervisor of the Year started working for the Tyler Police Department in 2006. She is very knowledgeable in her job and has an outstanding working relationship with everyone. She is a great dispatcher and supervisor and is responsible for confirming that all the information entered into TCIC on warrants, stolen items and protective orders are correct and up to date. She is assigned many other tasks and constantly works on them. The Tyler Police Department is proud to present the Civilian Supervisor of the Year Award to Marissa Pittman.
ROOKIE OFFICER OF THE YEAR
The Rookie of the Year award is presented to an officer who has less than two years of service as an officer with the department and does not have previous law enforcement experience. New officers have to make the adjustment from being civilians to Tyler Police Officers. The officer selected as Rookie of the Year this year is a hard worker and is highly motivated to do her job. She works proactively in her assigned area and volunteers for calls. She has self-initiated 255 traffic stops and 52 suspicious person or suspicious vehicle calls. She has made 51 arrests with 28 of those being self-initiated. We are proud to have this officer working for the Tyler Police Department: the 2013 Rookie Officer of the Year is presented to Melinda Melara.
UNIT OF THE YEAR
The Unit of the Year for 2013 is comprised of 3 Shifts. Officers of this unit routinely put their lives and welfare on the line to make the city a safer place to live for the citizens of Tyler. They routinely work in varying and harsh weather conditions. They work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They are a caring and compassionate group of men and women that will do whatever it takes to get the job done whether it's stopping a violent criminal or simply making small sacrifices that make the quality of life in Tyler better. The Tyler Police Department is proud to present the 2013 Unit of the Year award to the Tyler Police Department Patrol Division.
PLAINCLOTHES OFFICER OF THE YEAR
The qualifications for nomination for this award exemplify an investigator whose effectiveness is highly rated.
This investigator must divide his time between numerous detailed investigations and teaching at the Tyler Junior College Law Enforcement Academy while maintaining a high rate of case clearances. This investigator is a determined, seasoned professional and completes his cases with the upmost detail. He is revered by his peers and shows compassion for victims and family members of his cases. He was assigned the lead investigator on three homicides. He made 8 arrests in those homicide and responsible for charging four of the defendants with capital murder. It is with great pleasure the Tyler Police Department proudly presents Investigator Damon Swan as the 2013 Plainclothes Officer of the Year.
SWORN SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR
One of the more demanding jobs with the Tyler Police Department is that of Sworn Supervisor. The supervisor selected for this year's award creates a positive attitude in his unit and is highly respected by all officers in the police department. He supervises Officers on various shifts and instructs SWAT courses not only for the Tyler Police Department but also for TTPOA. He routinely changes his schedule for the good of the department. He is a great motivator and shows a genuine concern for the welfare of Officers no matter if they are on duty or off duty. The Tyler Police Department is proud to recognize Sergeant Mike Saxion as the Sworn Supervisor of the Year.
OFFICER OF THE YEAR
This year's Officer of the Year is highly respected and displays the utmost professionalism in the image he projects for the Tyler Police Department. This officer comes to work every day and exhibits a strong work ethic and a real desire to serve the citizens of Tyler. He is a self-motivated officer that is very proactive in his beat by thinking "outside the box" on ways to solve problems in his assigned beat. He works well with all members of the department and always has a smile on his face and willingness in his heart to work hard and help others.
Please join me as we recognize this year's Officer of the Year, Officer Charles "Chuck" Boyce.