By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
Monday evening the Bell County Sheriff’s Department (BCSD) held their 3rd Annual Sheriff Awards banquet at the Expo Center. Officers were present to receive awards as well as support those who were awarded.
Sergeant Diana DeFord presented the Star Awards to the Outstanding Corrections Officer or Deputy for each section of the Jail, where each recipient received a plaque. The Star Awards were presented to the following: Ismael Colon from Courts & Transportation, Renee Mosley from A Shift, Anthony Hinds from B Shift, Haime Edwards from C Shift, Derek Elam from Food Service, and Micheal Hughes from Intake.
Sergeant Thomas presented the “I Caught You Caring” award to the following: Lisa Moon the Infirmary Supervisor, Amy Lange and Billie Adams from the Jail Library, Nancy Botkin the Jail Administrator.
Sheriff Eddy Lange recognized all the current retirees from BCSD. Current retirees are as follows: Francis Clarke, Doyle Dickens, Richard Fischbach, Wayne Penebaker, Jerry Smith, Terry Smith, Darryle Staton, William Wells.
Sheriff Lange also recognized employees for their time with the BCSD. Twenty one employees received their 2-year pin. Nine employees received their 5-year pin, to include Gilbert Alcozer, Madelene Atkins, Marisol Barron, Robert Barta, Roy French, Jeffrey McKenzie, Renee Mosley, Donald Souza, and Bobby Weakley.
Seven employees received their 10-year pin, to include Kennetta Cooper, Petrus Eirosius, Randall Goo, Dierre Grant, Juanita Harris, Iole Pannell, and Earlyn Williams. Seven employees received their 15-year pin, to include Anthony Andrews, Becky brown, Donald Buckram, Judith Clark, Paul Neault, Terry Sowder, and Janine Wheeler.
Four employees received their 20-year pin, to include Karleena Crider, Donnie Hill, Johnnie Thomas, and Gloria Utley. Five employees received their 25-year pin, to include T.J. Cruz, Marcine Folsom, Perry Moose, Steve Ramirez, and Spike Weaver.
Certificates of Appreciation were presented by Sheriff Lange to 9 employees. For his years of experience with dog-handling a full-time K-9 unit was created in which Investigator Eleno Alvarado helped train handlers as well and train the canines used, of which he received a Certificate of Appreciation.
Officer Michelle Sanchez, Jose Sanchez, and former employee David Burtchell undertook the construction of a scent wall for training canines to search for the scent of narcotics and explosives. This project utilized resources from the Work release program and was quickly completed and turned out larger and better than their original plans. For this accomplishment, the Officers received a Certificate of Appreciation.
Dustin Connell, Brittany Bailey, and Amanda Hollek received a Certificate of Appreciation for going above and beyond to keep the animal shelter in pristine condition. Due to their diligent work, the animal shelter has made perfect scores on state inspection, making it one of the best in the state.
Corporal Mary Hair and Officer Jessica Wegner received Certificates of Appreciation for their keen observation and assistance in the discovery of an inmate attempting to escape the Jail Annex. Without their quick action, the situation could have become a serious safety and security issue for staff, inmates and the general public.
Sheriff Lange also presented the Life Saving Award to nine employees. Deputy Brian Gowan and Corporal Pat Mullins responded to a dispatch to Dana Peak Park in regards to a Psychiatric/Threatening Suicide call. During the search of the area they discovered the victim, still clinging to life, and quickly called for EMS where he was then transported him to Scott & White Hospital.
Officer Brandon Albert, Corporal Kelly Butler, Officer Michael Farmer, Officer Christopher Marrie, Officer Gary Meyer, Corporal Kayla Ram, and Officer Earlie Scott all assisted in a call about an inmate in the process of attempting suicide. The Officers went above and beyond their duties that night in order to save the inmate’s life. No one was harmed during the incident.
Sheriff Lange presented a Police Commendation to Corporal Rene DeLaRosa in which he used keen judgment, intuition, and training, to stop a robbery when he noticed suspicious activity in a convenience store.
Deputy Tommy Camden also received a Police Commendation for his professionalism and exceptional ability to go above and beyond to stop signs of criminal activity. His stats for 2015 include 829 warnings, 380 citations, 78 arrests, and 52 reports. Deputy Camden also participates in many public events that the Criminal Interdiction Unity carries out.
Finally, Sheriff Lange presented the Sheriff’s Award to one outstanding individual; one he felt was very deserving of the award through her constant and tireless dedication to NCSD. The 2015 Sheriff’s Award was presented to Vanessa Blue.
“Thank you for what you do even if it means sacrificing yourself and putting yourself on the line,” Steve Cannon from J.A.I.L Ministry said.