The 34th Annual Friends of the Dallas Police Awards Banquet was held at the Hyatt Regency on November 1, 2016. Members of the department, both sworn and non-sworn, were honored for their dedication and commitment to the citizens of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department.
After a tribute to the fallen and injured officers, the Police Cross was awarded to Sgt. Michael Smith, Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, P.O. Michael Krol, P.O. Patricio Zamarripa and DART Officer Brent Thompson for performing under honorable circumstances and paying the ultimate sacrifice on July 7, 2016.
A sworn and non-sworn employee are selected as Bureau Employee of the Year from the Office of the Chief of Police and each of the five bureaus; Administrative Bureau, Investigations Bureau, Patrol Bureau, Strategic Deployment Bureau and Support Bureau. The Officer of the Year and Non-Sworn Employee of the Year are selected from these bureau award winners.
Non-Sworn and Sworn Bureau Awardees
The Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year is Sgt. Barry Ragsdale
This award is given in memory of Assistant Chief Bullard to acknowledge a supervisor with exemplary contributions to law enforcement. Sergeant Barry Ragsdale is a 26 year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. He is currently assigned to the Narcotics Unit. He is the recipient of a Meritorious Conduct Award, a Police Commendation Award, two Life Saving Awards and a Police Shield Award. On July 7th, he led a team of officers to El Centro College and cleared the building floor by floor, making it safe for students and faculty. (photo unavailable)
The Field Training Officer of the Year is Sr. Cpl. Kimberly Crawford
The field-training program is instrumental in developing police recruits into future police officers. This award was created to recognize the accomplishments of those who are responsible for transforming new recruits into self-sufficient police officers. Senior Corporal Kimberly Crawford is currently assigned to the Northwest Patrol Division. Senior Corporal Crawford has served the Dallas Police Department for 31 years. She promoted to field training officer in 1991 and has remained a training officer full-time for over 20 years. She and her recruit officers always maintain above average activity. Senior Corporal Crawford is the recipient of four certificates of merit and has received 83 commendations.
The Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year is P.O. J. Branden Helms
The Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year Award was created to honor the memory of Johnny Sides who was murdered 21 days after graduating from the police academy, he was 21 years old. The recipient is selected by the Jaycees from the top three nominations presented by the Meritorious Conduct Board. Police Officer J. Branden Helms is currently assigned to the Central Patrol Division and has been with the department since January of 2014. He finished first academically, second for physical score and had the highest over all score in recruit class 337. He has answered 308 calls for service, made 201 arrests including 13 felony arrests and 22 drug seizure arrests. He is also the recipient of the Life Saving Award.
The Joe C. Jones Reserve Officer of the Year is Reserve Lt. Vickie Colwell
The Joe C. Jones Reserve Officer of the Year award is in memory of Joe C. Jones who joined the Dallas Police Department Reserve Unit in 1968. Officer Jones passed away from injuries resulting from an automobile accident while en route to aid another officer in 1972. This award is given to recognize reserve officers and their dedication by volunteering their time to the Dallas Police Department and the citizens of Dallas while maintaining full-time jobs in other professions. Reserve Lieutenant Vickie Colwell joined the Reserve Battalion in August 2006. She has volunteered 2,889 hours, averaging over 300 hours per year. She also volunteers on the Suicide Hotline and helped search for pets in the aftermath of the tornado devastation in Garland and Rowlett.
The James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year is Ruben Lozano, Jr.
The James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year award is given in memory of Chief Helicopter Pilot and Reserve Officer James “Chuck” Taylor, who passed away in 1984 from a helicopter crash. This award recognizes a non-sworn employees of the department for their dedication to the police profession. Sr. Police Dispatcher Ruben Lozano, Jr. has been with the department for 5 years and has received 14 commendations. He has an uncanny ability to recognize the officers’ voices on the radio and knows their call number by their voice. This skill was crucial on July 7th when he maintained his position on the radio for 4 straight hours ensuring all information was properly recorded and disseminated.
The John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year is Sr. Cpl. James Gentry
The John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year Award is given in memory of John T. McCarthy, an officer who was murdered while investigating suspicious activity near White Rock Lake in 1981. This award commends an officer who has shown exemplary contributions to law enforcement. Senior Corporal James Gentry is currently assigned to the South Central Deployment Unit. He has served the Dallas Police Department for 12 years. He tracks down fugitives and researches crime trends in order to allocate resources efficiently. Senior Corporal James Gentry is the recipient of 48 commendations and is described as a leader in his unit.
Additional award recipients were honored in the following categories: Friends of the Dallas Police’s College Scholarship, Medal of Honor, Medal of Valor, Meritorious Conduct, Police Commendation, Life Saving and Police Shield. Congratulations to all of the award winners.