20 officers, staff honored at Waxahachie Police Department's awards ceremony

Chris Roark
Waxahachie Daily Light

Waxahachie Police officers, staff and their families attended the Waxahachie Police Department’s annual awards ceremony Nov. 5 at The Venue at The Avenue Church.

Twenty officers and staff were presented with various awards for their heroic actions and exemplary service to the residents of Waxahachie and the Waxahachie Police Department.

Each year, WPD officers and staff have the opportunity to nominate deserving individuals for the various awards, including Civilian of the Year, Supervisor of the Year and Officer of the Year awards; certificate of merit, meritorious conduct, and lifesaving awards; The Jeff Springer, John Spalding, and Josh Williams awards.

The awards committee, comprised of numerous officers and staff, carefully reviews all the nominations, discussing the circumstances and merits of each. The names of the award recipients are kept confidential until they are announced at the annual awards ceremony.

Chief Wade Goolsby welcomed the crowd of over 100 attendees and recognized dignitaries in attendance which included City Manager Michael Scott and Deputy City Manager Albert Lawrence.

“This is one of the most enjoyable nights of the year for me. To recognize the actions and accomplishments of the employees of this department and being part of such a great department is truly an honor,” Goolsby said.

Goolsby, with the assistance of Assistant Chiefs Joe Wiser and Dale Sigler, began the awards presentation with The Certificate of Merit Award. Presented to officers or civilians in recognition for their exceptional effort and a job well done, the 2021 Certificate of Merit recipients were Officers Andy Smith, Joe Fields, Kevin Patterson, Aarron Brasher, Dylan Snyder, Jacorey Jefferson, Connor Stevenson, Lt. Stephen Sanders, along with 911 Dispatchers Clara Hopkins and Kaitlyn Shimel.

The Meritorious Conduct Award is presented to officers for their outstanding meritorious achievement or service demonstrated through outstanding performance of duty under clearly hazardous and complicated conditions, or when the service delivered clearly contributed to a high degree of success in a difficult or complicated project or task by an individual.

The officers presented with the 2021 Meritorious Conduct Award were Ray Skidmore, Daniel Heiskell, Aarron Brasher, Tony Mikeska, and Lieutenant Marcus Brown.

The Police Commendation Award was presented to Lindsey Sims, the communications supervisor for outstanding performance in implementing a new computer aided dispatch system and records management system.

Receiving the Life Saving Award were Officers Daniel Heiskell, Jacorey Jefferson, Shelby Lytle and Tony Mikeska. This award is presented to outstanding individuals for their successful effort in saving a human life.

Three of the annual awards honor Waxahachie officers, John Spalding, Jeff Springer and Josh Williams, who gave their lives in the performance of their duties. Selected by the chief of police and his command staff, these awards recognize individuals in specific areas of performance or achievement.

The John Spalding Award is presented to the officer demonstrating the highest commitment to physical fitness. The 2021 John Spalding Award was presented to Officer Darrell Wafer. The Jeff Springer Award is conferred to one officer who has made a significant contribution toward officer tactics, shooting or survival skills.

Special guest Jackie Spurgeon Springer-Koch, widow of fallen officer Lt. Jeff Springer, assisted Goolsby in awarding the 2021 Jeff Springer Award to Lt. Mike Lewis.

The Josh Williams Award is awarded to the WPD employee who contributes the most toward the arrests and/or prosecution of intoxicated drivers. The 2021 Josh Williams Award was presented to Officer Tanner Mason.

The annual award event culminated with the presentation of the Civilian of the Year, Supervisor of the Year and Officer of the Year Awards. Selected by their peers, these awards are presented to the individuals who reflect the highest standards of conduct for a law enforcement officer or support staff in their prospective positions.

The 2021 Civilian of the Year was presented to Michelle Burks, Sgt. Chance Huckabee was recognized as the Supervisor of the Year, and Officer of the Year was awarded to Officer Dustin Koch.

The Waxahachie Police Department strives to be a recognized leader in public safety by working in partnership with the community and providing honorable service for a safer Waxahachie, the department stated in a press release, and is a “Recognized” police agency by the Texas Police Chief Association.