From recognizing herculean shutdowns of organized crime that have plagued neighborhoods for decades, to active shooter scenes, lifesaving rescues and more, the 41st annual Friends of the Dallas Police Awards Banquet honored 222 extraordinary officers and non-sworn employees of the Dallas Police Department Nov. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. The event was presented by Nexpoint and organized by the Friends of the Dallas Police.
“This is our chance to honor and thank the stand-out men and women of the DPD – both on the front lines and behind the scenes – that you may not always hear about,” said Nathan Halsey, chairman of the board for Friends of Dallas Police. “Friends of the Dallas Police works throughout the year to raise funds for this event, so we can shine a light on these everyday heroes who work tirelessly around the clock, put their lives on the line and sacrifice so much to help keep our city and citizens safe.”
Top awards were given to Senior Corporal Kevin Gladden who was named John T. McCarthy Police Officer of the Year and Eunsup Kim whoreceived the James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year award. Senior Corporal Gladden is assigned to the North Central Patrol Division, and Kim works in Community Affairs. In addition, Police Officer Ronald Cronin of the Love Field Unit received the Medal of Honor – the highest award given in the DPD – for his heroic and timely response to an active shooter situation at Love Field Airport.
The event also paid tribute to fallen Police Officer Christopher Dwayne Gibson, whose family was presented the Police Cross in his memory. He was a member of the of the North Central Patrol Division.
Among the officials attending were Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia who personally congratulated each award recipient, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Dallas City Manager T. C. Broadnax and several Dallas City councilmembers.
“Thank you to the Friends of the Dallas Police, and our community, for the support they show our men and women,” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia. “Each year at this event, we celebrate our award recipients and the extraordinary work they do for our city. This is just a fraction of the good work being done by the men and women of the Dallas Police Department. I thank our employees for their dedication and commitment to our community, and for their efforts in making Dallas one of the safest cities in our country.”
Rebecca Lopez, WFAA senior crime and justice reporter,served as the master of ceremonies. The Dallas Police Honor Guard and Dallas Metro Police Pipes & Drums presented the colors, the Dallas Police Choir performed the National Anthem, and Dallas Pastor Blake Holmes of Watermark Community Church delivered the invocation.
Including the major awards announced that evening, the Friends of the Dallas Police also recognized sworn officers and non-sworn staff members in a variety of categories: Medal of Honor, Meritorious Conduct (for individuals and units), Police Commendation, Police Shield and Life Saving awards.
While many of the awardees knew they were winners prior to the ceremony, most major awards were revealed at the event. The award recipients were chosen from nominations made by DPD supervisors based on overall yearly performance.
Top awards included the Marvin R. Bullard Supervisor of the Year Award, which went to two individuals – the Sworn Supervisor Award to Sergeant Willie Ford of Tactical Response & Support and the Non-Sworn Supervisor Award went to Manager Robert Munoz of Community Affairs.
The James R. Leavelle Detective of the Year went to Senior Corporal George Waller of the Property Crimes Division. The Field Training Officer of the Year was presented to Senior Corporal Rodney Nevils of the Southeast Patrol Division. The Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year Award, which is sponsored by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce, was presented to Police Officer Hugh Bryant of the North Central Patrol Division. The Joe C. Jones Reserve Officer of the Year Award was given to Police Officer Wade Duay from the Reserve Unit.
Also, Meritorious Conduct Unit Awards were presented to the Fugitive Unit, Gang Unit, Tactical Planning/Special Events Team Unit, SWAT Unit and Vehicle Crimes Unit.
Nominees (and bureau winners) for the John T. McCarthy Dallas Police Officer of the Year, which was presented to Senior Corporal Kevin Gladden (Patrol Officer of the Year), were Senior Corporal Amie Brewer, Office of the Chief of Police Officer of the Year; Senior Corporal Tiffany Mercado, Administrative Officer of the Year; Senior Corporal Trevis Graham, Community Engagement and Operations Officer of the Year; Senior Corporal Thomas MacPherson, Tactical and Special Operations Officer of the Year; and Senior Corporal Jeffrey Grandy, Investigations Officer of the Year.
Nominees (and bureau winners) for the James Taylor Non-Sworn Employee of the Year Award, which was presented to Community Affairs Specialist Eunsup Kim (Community Engagement and Operations Non-Sworn Employee of the Year), were Administrative Specialist II Ma Lourdes Duarte, Office of the Chief of Police Non-Sworn Employee of the Year; Administrative Specialist II Yolanda Godinez, Administrative Non-Sworn Employee of the Year; Senior Police Dispatcher Douglas Childers, Communications Non-Sworn Employee of the Year; Office Assistant 2 Anita Dunbar, Tactical and Special Operations Non-Sworn Employee of the Year, Office Assistant 2 Tyechia Giles, Investigations Non-Sworn Employee of the Year; and Fleet Coordinator Rafael Ortiz, Patrol Non-Sworn Employee of the Year.
The 2022 Educational Scholarship Award, which goes to the child of a Dallas Police Officer for college tuition, was given to two deserving recipients. The first recipient was Jenna R. Alvarado, daughter of Sergeant Simon Alvarado Jr., a 30-year DPD veteran in the Southwest Patrol Division. Jenna received her Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Houston-Victoria – where she is among the top players on the university’s golf team – and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in upper education. The second recipient was Clarissa H. Alvarez, daughter of Beatriz Alvarez, a 16-year employee and a manager in DPD’s Personnel Operations. Clarissa is currently a senior at Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, where she maintains a 3.9 weighted GPA. Clarissa hopes to study nursing at Texas Tech University, University of North Carolina, University of Texas at Arlington or Texas A&M in 2024.
In addition to Presenting Sponsor Nexpoint,Chief Sponsors are The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated Inc.; Hunt Consolidated, Inc.;Jim Thompson Foundation; Lisa and Kenny Troutt; Copart; and Sam Pack’s Five Star Family of Dealerships. Major Sponsors are The Baldridge Foundation; Central Market; Fifth Third Bank; Freeman Auto Group; Hillwood; Margot Perot; Ellen and John McStay - In Honor of Cynthia Villarreal; 7-Eleven; Sewell Automotive Companies; and The Alinda Hill Wikert Foundation.
For more information, go to friendsofthedallaspolice.org.
About Friends of the Dallas Police
Founded in 1982 by a group of Dallas business leaders, the Friends of the Dallas Police Awards event recognizes the DPD employees for outstanding performance in the line of duty and raises money to celebrate those employees who risk their lives every day to make Dallas a safer city. The Friends organization believes that, no matter their position within the department, each of DPD’s employees has made a commitment to better the city and the quality of life of its citizens. For more information about the Friends of the Dallas Police, go to friendsofthedallaspolice.org.