Members of the community and police force recognized the service and leadership of several members of the Waxahachie Police Department on Saturday.
Officer Abe Partington was named as the officer of the year, Sgt. Bobby Gray was named as supervisor of the year, and Joshua Goodwin was named the civilian employee of the year.
Nominations for these awards can be made by anyone in the department and for anyone he or she feels is the best representative of that award. A committee of employees from different areas of the department makes the final selection through a vote.
Supervisor of the Year
Following the retirement of Lt. Todd Woodruff as the head of the Criminal Investigations Division, Gray has served as both a sergeant and lieutenant. In these roles, Gray oversaw the distribution of cases, determined work that needed to be done, answered questions from detectives and approved the day-to-day paperwork.
Gray said he is honored to be recognized by his fellow officers as the supervisor of the year.
“It is humbling. I was surprised [to win] with all the other supervisors here at the police department. I feel undeserving,” Gray said. “To be picked among your peers is always a great feeling.”
Gray has served with the department for the past 18 years and feels that the job was a calling.
Police Chief Wade Goolsby stated Gray is a pillar in the department and someone that can be counted on daily.
“During this past year, the CID lieutenant retired. Bobby had to step up and cover both positions while we made the move and got people in place,” Goolsby said. “All of the people said he is the go-to guy. He is very knowledgeable, and they rely on him. Not only has he helped them but also he has helped the new lieutenant in CID learn his job. People really recognized the work that he has put forth this past year.”
Officer of the Year
The committee selected Partington as the officer of the year for 2018. Partington joined the department in 2007. Before joining the department, Partington spent three years as a law enforcement explorer.
For the first three years of his service, Partington served in communications and as an officer for the past nine. He has served both in the patrol and traffic divisions and is a member of the department’s SWAT team.
“I am very humbled to have been awarded the Waxahachie Police Department’s Officer of the Year for 2018. There are so many other hard-working, proactive officers that were nominated as well,” Partington said. “I am very honored to have been nominated along with them. I would have never thought that I would actually be chosen for the award.”
Partington stated there are a lot of great things taking place within the department and he is very proud to be part of it.
In August, Partington was appointed to the department’s traffic division. He feels that this opportunity will help him continue to grow as an officer.
“In this position, I conduct traffic enforcement and investigate accidents. I am not responsible for routine day-to-day calls that the patrol division is typically responsible for such as thefts, burglaries, and assaults,” Partington said. “In this position, I am more able to conduct proactive roadside police investigations to discover a variety of crimes such as drug trafficking, wanted fugitives, suspects in other crimes such as frauds, burglaries, human trafficking, and many other criminal activities while still conducting traffic enforcement. I am very excited to be in my position. I think it is a great opportunity to continue proactive policing.”
Goolsby praised Partington's dedication to the community.
“Abe’s work ethic is second to none. He goes out there and hustles every day. You get a lot of guys that produce high numbers and they want all the praise. Abe is not that way,” Goolsby said. “Abe wants to help the new officers and teach them new things. Show them how to do things. I think that his co-workers recognize that he is the one that deserves officer of the year.”
Civilian Employee of the Year
Goodwin has served with the department for the past three years — first as a dispatcher and now as a records clerk. As a member of the records division, Goodwin is one of several people responsible for filing and maintaining the department's records. He helps residents at the police station and directs them to where they need to go to get assistance.
“I didn’t realize until I started working here how great the people were and how rewarding the job was going to be. At first, I took it because I needed a job, but then I realized I was getting to help people out by working for this department,” Goodwin said. “I started off in dispatch. You’re the first point of contact for the citizens. You hear their emergencies and you’re getting them help in the time they need. So now that I have transitioned into records I get to see the whole process all the way through. It is really rewarding.”
Goodwin stated he is truly honored to receive this award because it comes from the people he works with daily.
“It is very humbling, especially due to the fact that it is your co-workers [who choose]. They are the ones that nominate you and are the ones that choose you,” Goodwin said. “They let you know they see you are willing to do what it takes to help you out and make the whole department successful.”
Goolsby stated Goodwin regularly goes above and beyond what is expected for him to do at the department.
“We have had numerous nominations for Josh. I think that is because no matter what you need he jumps in and takes care of it. He has always got a positive attitude,” Goolsby said. “He will not only do what you ask but he takes the initiative to do things when he thinks things need to be done. I think that his co-workers recognize that.”