The East Montgomery County Improvement District once again held the yearly Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner Monday night. Ten officers were awarded this year for either job performance, acts above and beyond, or assisting in the community.
Precinct 4 Deputy Eli Rivera who travels US 59 extensively in the MAP truck was voted top for their department. He started out as a patrol deputy in 2005 and went full time in 2009. Rivera travels the roads of EMC looking for stranded motorists but along with that has been the top man in the department in DWI arrests. In addition he has stopped a mobile meth lab and has had several traffic stops where illegal narcotics were involved.
Detective James Blackwell with MCSO was awarded for breaking a 2009 forgery ring which as to date has identified 28 members. He cleared 14 Montgomery County cases which resulted in 70 charges filed by the Montgomery County District Attorney.
Corporal David Miller with MCSO was also awarded for an incident on September 10, 2009 in which a child was mauled by a pit bull. According to the in-charge paramedic who was on the scene the child was severely mauled with life threatening injuries. Corporal Miller assisted EMS by driving there ambulance to the site that the Air Medical Helicopter was landing. This allowed the entire crew to continue working on the child.
Officer Kirby Cowels with the New Caney ISD Police was recognized for his outstanding relationship with staff and students in the community. Cowels has a long distinguished history of service with the Navy and then law enforcement coming from the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s office where he was a District Court Bailiff.
Chief Joe Schulte selected Officer Mary Whitmire. Officer Whitmire has been with the department as a police officer for four years. She is assigned to the Patrol Division and serves as the assistant to the Victim Liason Officer. She conducts her own investigation work and is responsible for clearing multiple cases in the city. She also deals with hard issues, such as deaths and CPS investigations in the city.
Corporal Stephen Cline with Roman Forest has always been first to the scene and first through the door according to Chief Jatzlau. He has been instrumental in apprehending countless felons in East Montgomery County. His service record for his past three years with the department goes beyond reproach.
Chief Doerge with Splendora ISD Police selected Lieutenant John Mays. One incident that puts him in the top was dealing with a student. John was contacted by the parents of one of the female students who had not come home after school and the parents were concerned. John investigated the incident and found that the student had ended up in College Station with a friend. The child had a mental instability and John found out that she had ingested some medication. The local and county authorities were contacted and John was able to get her help at their local hospital which saved her life.
Chris Weisinger with the Splendora Police Department. In 2009 his skill led to multiple arrests and the breaking of a organized crime ring responsible for multiple burglaries. He was able to recover numerous stolen items and get them returned to their rightful owners.
Corporal Robert Meager with Woodbranch is a master Peace Officer and is also certified as a Taser Instructor. He is an asset for training new officers.
Trooper Andrew Papanos with the Texas Department of Public Safety was promoted this year to Corporal. With this change in title came the change in responsibilities which included supervising and training new Troopers after their graduation from the DPS Academy. Throughout the year Papanos has strived to maintain his presence on the roadways of East Montgomery County. On March 16th of last year he responded to a hit and run motorcycle crash which resulted in the death of the rider. On July 14th, he responded to yet another hit and run crash which resulted in the victim being severely injured and left for dead. During both investigations, Corporal Papanos spent countless hours going above and beyond the normal course of duties. Through excellent investigative skills and sheer determination he was able to locate both of the drivers responsible for those travesties. He received confessions to the crimes and supported his case with DNA evidence allowing him to bring these individuals to justice.