300 honor top officer, local police
Literally. Lt. J. D. Newlin reminded the fourth annual Officer of the Year Banquet this was a year in which a Rockdale officer was fired upon.
Ofc. S. A. Smith was uninjured in the exchange of gunfire in the old Walmart parking lot on Nov. 22.
“It can happen here,” Newlin said.
For the second straight year Ofc. Mike Hoyt was named offi- cer of the year with Ofc. Stephen Goodrich as runner-up.
Officer of the year is selected on a points system from October through September.
During that 12 months, Hoyt issued 634 traffic citations, ser ved 233 warrants, made 19 felony warrant arrests and made 29 misdemeanor warrant arrests.
Hoyt, a native of Pflugerville, has been a member of the Rockdale Police Department since 2007.
Harris praised Hoyt’s work on traffic stops. “That’s pretty much where it all starts,” the chief said. “That’s where you get most of your drug arrests and also where you get those who are wanted on warrants.”
Previous officer of the year winners were:
2009 —</BOLD Goodrich, runner-up.
2008— Goodrich, winner; Rusty Brindle, runner-up.
2007— James Woodward, winner; David Everton, runner up.
Harris commended members of the police department.
“They are good men and serve this community well,” he said.
Members of the department are:
Police chief, Harris; lieutenant, Newlin.
Officers, Hoy t, Goodrich, Brandon Tess, Smith, Bryan Lightfoot, Ethan Patton, Steven Cooper.
Animal control officer, Fred Lankford.
Harris also praised dispatchers Shana Goodrich (supervisor), Trina Young, Esther Cole, Laura Matous and Sandy Kunkel.
‘Bad guys don’t stop’
Newlin generated a round of applause for families of law enforcement officers.
“They learn that dad, or mom, is going to miss a lot of school functions for the kids, will be working a lot of holidays when everyone else is off, won’t be able to tuck the little ones in at night,” he said.
“And they learn sometimes we miss out on Santa because bad guys don’t stop just because it’s Christmas,” Newlin said.
Newlin also expressed appreciation to Kit Worley and Cruz Stewart for their help in the police food booth ef for t at Apache Pass.
“That’s become a major fund raiser for our department every year,” Newlin said.
The evening also featured a dance with Rockdale native Lange Debault and a live auction with John Fisher.
There was also a silent auction.
Cakes were provided by the W. T. Scurlock chapter of the National Honor Society at Rockdale High School.
Mayor John Shoemake gave the invocation.