WAXAHACHIE — As chosen by their peers, three members of the Waxahachie Police Department were recognized for dedication, leadership and hard work.
Detective Elizabeth Glidewell was named as the officer of the year, Cpl. Derek McKie as supervisor of the year and Jerry McLemore the civilian employee of the year.
Anyone in the department can make nominations for any person employed by WPD. A committee of employees from different areas of the department make the final selection through a vote and awards were given out Sept. 24.
Detective Elizabeth Glidewell, WPD Officer of the Year
Glidewell has served with the department for the past 10 years and said she is honored to be recognized for the work she does by her fellow officers.
“I investigate crimes against children and sexual crimes and that can kind of wear on you. I feel like I am always kind of thinking about that and I always try to do my best. So it feels good that people notice that I do work hard,” Glidewell said. “I feel like in the 10 years that I have been here I have made a lot of relationships here in the department. There is a real sense of community here at this police department. One of the reasons that I have stayed here is that you do feel like a family here.”
Glidewell said in each case that she works what motivates her is to help find closure for the victims and to put the person reasonable in jail so they cannot hurt others.
Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby said Glidewell is dedicated and strives to do her best each day.
“One of the things that stood out that the committee is the hard work that Elizabeth does. It is a little unusual for a detective to get it because there is a lot more patrol officers out there that are in contention for it. I think that it says a lot about her work ethic and her wiliness to work with patrol,” Goolsby said. “I will tell you that throughout the year I get compliments from the district attorney’s office on her cases. She has very difficult cases involving children and does and outstanding job. I think that it was a perfect selection this year.”
Derek McKie, WPD Supervisor of the Year
The committee selected McKie as this year’s supervisor the year. McKie has served with the department for the past 16 years and the last three and a half as a supervisor. In this role, McKie oversees seven officers.
“It is something that I always wanted to do since I was a kid. It is something I always have wanted. I remember as a kid seeing the squad cars go by and I guess it was lights and sirens that attracted me,” McKie said. “Being a police officer, you love working with people. For me, I love working with the people that I work with. The guys in this department from the chief all the way down to the person that we hired a couple of months ago. I enjoy the people that are in this department.”
McKie said one of the challenging parts of his job at the department, as a supervisor is people management. As a supervisor you are not just worrying about what you do but what the entire shift does. One of the recent incidents that tested this took place at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center on Sept. 3.
According to a Daily Light article from Sept. 5, at approximately 6:23 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, hospital personnel were forced to clear the emergency department of BSWMD at Waxahachie when the 33-year-old Austin resident Lorenzo Zarate brandished a firearm. The standoff ended safely without injury at 7:40 p.m. after Zarate spoke with a hostage negotiator for approximately 15 minutes.
McKie said during the incident you have had to look at the big picture to keep everyone, civilians, law enforcement, and emergency personal safe.
Goolsby said McKie is a very humble person and leads by example.
“I think that one of the things that came across in our nomination for Derek is that he is out there with his guys working and sets a good example for them. When they have a question, and he does not know the answer he will go find the answer for them, “ Goolsby said. “He is one of those guys that stay calm in the situations like at the hospital. He keeps them calm by being calm.”
McKie said receiving this award means a lot.
“To me, it means that you have the respect of your peers. You have the respect of the people that you supervise. You have the respect of your administration,” McKie said. It tells me the people appreciate what I am doing.”
Jerry McLemore, WPD Civilian Employee of the Year
The final selection made by the committee was to name McLemore as the civilian employee of the year. McLemore has been with the department as a reserve police officer since 1994. In 2006 he became the property officer the department, which is a civilian position. Before working with the Waxahachie Police Department, McLemore was a coach and teacher for 37 with Waxahachie ISD.
As the property officer, he is responsible care, custody, and control of all property and evidence that is turned over to the police department.
“It (being a police officer) is something that I always wanted to do. I went into coaching instead and teaching and did that for 37 years. The first chance that I got in 1994; it felt like something was missing. Law enforcement was something that I always felt a leaning towards. I always wanted to do,” McLemore said. “It kind of gave the opportunity as a reserve officer to be involved same as the regular officers there out on the street and get to work. The department has been excellent. It is a lot of fun to work here. You have a lot of people to work with, and it keeps you young and thinking all the time and moving.”
McLemore said he felt honored that he was nominated and then voted on by his peers to receive this award.
Goolsby said McLemore’s positive attitude and work ethic shines through each day.
“I think that Jerry is being a little modest in the example that he sets for these young officers. I think that they see him and they see his work ethic. He has got an incredible work ethic. He is a lot older than most of these officers, and yet they see him working harder they are. Always willing to pitch in no matter who asks for what. He just has such a positive attitude,” Goolsby said. “I think the reason why he was selected is that of his sense of humor. When Jerry is not here, you can feel it the whole department. He is one of those guys that has an impact on the whole department whether he knows it or not. He just has a great sense of humor and is always picking people up.”
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