Yay to cops
Seth Rosebrook was named officer of the year. Sherri West, the department’s records and communications supervisor, was named civilian employee of the year.
Police Chief Scott Burroughs said Rosebrook has been an offi cer for only a little more than a year, but he is experienced beyond his years.
“He is a hard driver, always working,” Burroughs said. “He’s one of those guys who is very proactive, and he has gained the confidence of his co-workers.”
West has excelled at a challenging job in which two positions were combined last year to streamline operations and save money.
“She’s one of those people who accepts responsibility and demands good service from her people, but she also is not afraid to get her hands dirty,” Burroughs said, adding that West just in the past week worked three different shifts, providing relief for her dispatchers to have time off.
Campbell has good instincts and more, Burroughs said.
“He’s just got a real personable style about him,” the chief said. “He is able to communicate with people and always does it with a smile on his face. But, also, he is great to have as a backup, because he makes good decisions and is able to handle himself in just about any situation.”
A former PAPD officer, Jeremy Stewart, was awarded a commendation bar for finding a bag containing 1,700 tabs of an illegal drug known as MDMA, or ecstasy, plus methamphetamine, during a traffic stop he made in Port Aransas on Jan. 27, 2011. It is believed to be the largest seizure of illegal drugs in Port Aransas history. Two suspects were charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Stewart is a Rockport police officer now.
Also receiving a commendation bar was J.D. Hinojosa. Hinojosa works for the Aransas Pass Police Department now, but when he was a PAPD officer, he caught a man in the act of beating a security guard and held him until other police could arrive on March 25 last year, Burroughs said. Hinojosa was off-duty, shopping in Corpus Christi, at the time. The man he caught was a shoplifter who allegedly attacked the security guard who was trying to keep him from committing a theft.
Rosebrook also earned a commendation bar. He captured a burglary suspect while on patrol in the 2500 block of South 11th Street during the early morning hours of May 23, 2011. By the end of the night, two suspects had been captured, and police found that they had been driving an allegedly stolen truck with thousands of dollars worth of apparently stolen property in it. Police linked the suspects to about a dozen burglaries in Port Aransas.
Campbell received a commendation bar for heroics performed in an incident on June 2 last year near the pier on Port Street. A woman wading in the water suffered an asthma attack and “went into medical distress,” according to Burroughs. A tanker ship was passing by at the time, and Campbell worried that the ship’s wake might drag her deeper into the channel. Large wakes in that area have been known to knock people down. Campbell waded into the water and got the woman to shore seconds before a wake rushed through the shallows.
Sgt. Michael Bustos received a Purple Heart in recognition of the injury he suffered in the line of duty on June 14 at a Port Aransas bar. Bustos was responding to a disturbance at the bar when he was confronted by an intoxicated person, Burroughs said. The person tried to attack Bustos, the chief said. Bustos wrestled with the attacker and tore a ligament in his leg. The tear later would require surgery. Despite the injury, Bustos was able to arrest the person, who later was charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer.
Campbell and Officer Scott Grumbles received lifesaving awards in connection with an incident that occurred about 3:30 a.m. June 12. Responding to a report of a disturbance, the officers were told that a man was attempting suicide. In the back yard of a residence, they found a man hanging by his neck from a rope. Despite being punched repeatedly by the man, Campbell picked him up by his feet to relieve pressure on his neck. Grumbles got the rope off the man. The man was taken to a psychiatric facility for evaluation.
Officer Jeff Chain won a life saving award in connection with an April 11 incident. He was at the police station when he heard a commotion in a nearby jail cell. He investigated and found that a female inmate had made a rope out of her blanket and was hanging by the neck from a ceiling grate. Chain lifted the 175-pound woman with one arm and tore the blanket down with the other while the woman kicked and hit the officer. The woman was taken to a psychiatric facility for evaluation.
The chief’s appreciation award went to Laura Billups, a citizen who volunteered hundreds of hours last year in the Emergency Services Toy Roundup, an annual effort to collect and distribute toys to children in less fortunate families in Port Aransas.
“By shopping certain stores at certain times, she was also able to procure thousands of dollars in gift cards that she was able to use to buy (many) more toys for the kids,” Burroughs said.
Also at the banquet:
• Chain and Grumbles were promoted to the rank of Offi cer II.
• New officers Matt Johnson and Lance Sanders were sworn in.
• Burroughs thanked Mirko and Christine Latkovich, Chris Shanklin, Bill and Barbara Smith, Ed Ziegler and Brenda Bensley for hosting gatherings the annual National Night Out neighborhood crime prevention effort.
• The chief presented community service awards to Julie Johnson, Ed Waite, June Petitt, Melvin Littleton, Connie Beane, Dr. Jennifer McInnis, Dr. Debra Megonigle, Dr. Floyd Garrett and Kathy Burke.
• Grumbles received a service award for his combined service to PAPD and other parts of the law enforcement community. He has a total of 15 years of service as a law enforcement officer, including three and a half years with PAPD.
• Recognized were telecommunications operator Tammy Stewart, with an intermediate peace officer certification, Campbell and Rosebrook, with basic peace officer certifications and Michael Hannon, with intermediate peace officer certifi cation.
• Hannon was presented with an educational proficiency award for earning a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Central Florida.
• Lt. James Stokes and Chain were given safe driving awards for having no at-fault auto accidents for more than 10 years, despite thousands of hours of driving on the job.
PAPD has 25 employees, including 17 sworn positions.