The Annual Friends of the Dallas Police Department Awards Banquet was held at the Hyatt Regency on November 15, 2021. 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. A sworn and non-sworn employee is selected as Employee of the Year from the Office of the Chief of Police and from each of the assistant chiefs. The Officer of the Year and Non-Sworn Employee of the Year are selected from these award winners.
The Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year is Sergeant Richard Santiesteban & (Non-Sworn) Manager Susan Kerr
A 28-year veteran of the DPD, Sergeant Santiesteban performs at the highest levels as an investigative supervisor. He manages approximately 6,000 criminal investigations per year with 11 detectives. He also supervises the department’s liaison officers to the Secret Service and the FBI. He has exceptional leadership abilities and motivates and pushes his detectives for greater performance. He understands the value of training and developing the skillsets of his detectives. Sgt. Santiesteban has also been tasked as the project supervisor overseeing the launch of the DPD’s Digital Forensic Laboratory, a “onestop shop” of digital investigative support services such as extraction of computer data, cellphone data, vehicle infotainment data, and digital currency.
Supervisor Kerr supervises 12 employees while overseeing both the Automated Fingerprint Identification System and National Integrated Ballistic Network Units. Kerr teaches the NIB IN/Firearms training block for all newly hired employees and is the point for the NIB IN Enforcement & Support System (NESS) database. She is responsible for ensuring all units that require informant fingerprints are trained and fully equipped. She also worked closely with ATF to provide the Department with a second Matchpoint computer.
The James R. Leavelle Detective of the Year is Detective Christopher Hight
The Detective of the Year award is given in honor of James R. Leavelle, the veteran Homicide Detective who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
A 32-year DPD veteran, Detective Christopher Hight is a foundational member of the award-winning OCDETF Strike Force 1, a group responsible for the seizure of over 3 million grams of methamphetamine; over 300,000 grams of cocaine; 45,000 grams of heroin; 102 firearms; 171 arrests, and over $7 million dollars … all within the last 20 months. He is constantly initiating investigations, supporting others’ cases, and guiding new detectives and agents.
The Field Training Officer of the Year is Senior Corporal George Francis Jr.
A 30-year DPD veteran, Senior Corporal Francis has received over 60 commendations in his years of service. As a Field Training Officer, Senior Corporal Francis demonstrates a high degree of leadership by successfully guiding, teaching, and documenting all recruits’ training. Always setting an example, he is courteous, professional, and prepared. Recently, Senior Corporal Francis was a member of the Response Team for the CPAC meeting held in Dallas. After the event, a participant sent an exemplary performance letter to Chief Garcia noting that their 11-year-old daughter was able to witness firsthand how to appropriately talk to and respect police officers.
The Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year is Officer Darryl Cytacki
Police Officer Cytacki has served the department for 2 years. The positivity and energy that Darryl brings to work daily are unmatched. He is an exceptional young leader with a willingness to help everyone. Recently Officer Cytacki put his life in imminent danger when he entered a residence that was on fire in an effort to help several people escape. Officer Cytacki acted with relentless determination to get everyone involved out safely. He consistently gains the trust of his community and his peers … and is considered an invaluable leader.
The Joe C. Jones Reserve Officer of the Year is Reserve Officer Daniel Law
The Joe C. Jones Reserve Officer of the Year is given in recognition of the Dallas Police 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. The Reserve Officer of the Year is selected from nominations submitted by supervisors throughout the department, based on overall performance for the year in the areas of work record, commendations, awards received, and civic activities.
Graduating first in his academy class, Reserve Officer Daniel law became a sworn member of the Dallas Police Department in April 2020 and is assigned to the Patrol Unit of the Reserve Division. His enthusiasm and dedication have been evident from day one – he consistently volunteers for patrol assignments, works well beyond the minimum expected number of hours, and has never missed a duty assignment.
The James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year is Matthew Robertson
Matthew Robertson joined the Dallas Police Department in September 2015 as a multimedia specialist in the Personnel Division, where he filmed recruits undergoing basic training. He was reassigned to the Recruiting Unit where he improved the video output by incorporating work used in several types of advertisements for the recruitment of highly qualified applicants. His award-winning work has been published nationally in print magazines, digital platforms, and billboard campaigns across the nation. Robertson was named Employee of the Month in December 2019 for his diligence in recruiting and meeting departmental hiring goals. In 2020, he was transferred to the Media Relations Unit where his duties expanded to include the production of creative video and audio presentations for training, communications, and public information. He also played an integral role in distributing updates to the department and the public regarding COVID-19 protocols.
The John T. McCarthy Officer of the Year is Senior Corporal Joann Sanchez
Senior Corporal JoAnn Sanchez quickly excelled to land a position on the Northwest Crisis Response Team (CRT)/Deployment Team in February 2011 after briefly serving as a police officer. Passionate, committed, and tenacious, she became a covert officer one year later and shortly after was promoted to Senior Corporal. She received the Life Saving Award in 2013 for providing aid to a robbery suspect injured by a gunshot. A few examples of her tremendous work include an organized retail theft arrest in 2016, robbery arrests in 2018 and 2021, and an ATM theft arrest in 2019. A 13-year veteran, Senior Corporal Sanchez is a tireless servant to her community and an asset to the City of Dallas.
Additional award recipients were honored in the following categories: Friends of the Dallas Police College Scholarship, Medal of Honor, Medal of Valor, Meritorious Conduct, Meritorious Conduct Unit, Police Commendation, Life Saving, and the Police Shield.
Congratulations to all our recipients for their outstanding work!