Burleson Police Department Awards

2022 Awards and Recognition

Officer of the Year
Officer M. HilliardOfficer Hillard was named BPD's Officer of the Year for 2022. The nominations described Hillard as the "work ethic of a new officer but with the experience and knowledge of a veteran officer," "a pillar of trust and dependability," "a quintessential trainer and mentor," "highly reliable," and, "a quality officer representing the best of Burleson PD."

Officer Hillard's productivity included twelve (12) felony arrests, fifty (50) misdemeanor arrests, seventeen (17) warrant arrests, and twenty-five (25) DWI arrests, for a total of one hundred and four (104) total arrests.

Officer Hillard has fifteen (15) years in law enforcement. He began his career with BPD in November 2020 as a lateral entry and has previously served as a detective and a SWAT member. He is the most senior officer on the midnight shift patrol team and serves as a Field Training Officer. In 2022, he trained six (6) new probationary officers. He mentors these officers, ensuring they are appropriately trained and ready for their next phase of training.

As one of his peers described, Officer Hillard is a "crucial" member of the third shift. His prior experience, tenure, and work ethic allow him to be a natural leader and role model for the team. His service to the citizens does not go unnoticed, having received several kudos for his compassion and kindness.

Rookie of the Year
Officer S. HarveyOfficer Harvey began his career with BPD in August 2021. Prior to becoming an officer, he served in the United States Marines. The nominations describe him as a very productive officer and top producer. Officer Harvey conducts a thorough investigation as opposed to simply taking a report. His follow-up with victims, witnesses, and suspects further exemplifies his desire to solve cases. He seeks information and guidance on how he can better serve in this role and his willingness to self-improve will bode well for his bright future.

Even at his young tenure, Officer Harvey has taken on leadership roles by volunteering for the newly created recruitment and peer support teams. He demonstrates teamwork by honoring those around him and building relationships with them. Finally, one supervisor describes him as a humble individual that exudes the integrity and professionalism that every department should want and expect from their team members.

Supervisor of the Year
Chaz GarrettSergeant Garrett has been a supervisor on the midnight shift for the past four years. He began his career with BPD in 2009, having served in patrol and as a detective before promoting to sergeant. The midnight shift is comprised of many young-tenured officers, and that is where Sergeant Garrett excels as a mentor. His experience and leadership ensure he can effectively educate and guide team members toward departmental goals. His expertise in investigations helps him teach the requisites of warrants for the use of digital evidence and all evidence.

Sergeant Garrett values his time in the field, working with officers while on calls. He is a humble leader that allows his team to take credit for their accomplishments, as he prefers to work behind the scene to ensure their success. He understands the balance of allowing officers to manage their scenes but remaining ready to assist should they need it.

In 2022, Sergeant Garrett supervised an extremely volatile situation just after New Year's. Approximately 20 shots were fired, and a very large, angry group of people emerged in the aftermath. His investigative experience helped track down the offender. He also supervised several separate burglaries of motor vehicle sprees, resulting in multiple arrests for burglary and weapons charges. In addition, Sergeant Garrett manages several large city-sponsored events, coordinating emergency plans and personnel.

Civilian of the Year
Lisa CauthernLisa serves as the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Burleson Police Department. She consistently provides a high level of service to members of the police department, other city departments, and the citizens of Burleson. Her dedication and commitment exemplify her servant's heart and her compassion toward others is a trait to be emulated.

Lisa performs many duties within the PD and serves as the coordinator for all staff members. Whether she is completing paperwork for Human Resources, coordinating applicant paperwork, or serving as the Secretary for the Burleson Police Foundation, she dedicates her time to ensuring her work product is accurate and thorough. Her work ethic is exceptional.

Lisa's productivity is nothing shy of amazing because of the large number of tasks for which she is responsible. That does not consider the numerous daily interruptions to answer phone calls, assist with walk-in needs, and lend an ear to all those that need therapy (mostly the chief)! Lisa coordinates many of the graduation/promotion events and contributes to a wide range of other events as well.

Ofelia Blair Character Award
Officer J. GomezThe Ofelia Blair award is in honor of former Burleson Police employee Ofelia Blair, whose actions exemplified outstanding character in the service of others. Her compassion, empathy, and professionalism reflect the traits defined by this award.

Two years ago, Officer Gomez came to know a seventeen-year-old young man through a relationship the seventeen-year-old had with a family member of Gomez. Officer Gomez and his wife learned the young man lived in a troubled neighborhood, attended a school that had a very difficult environment and did not have a stable family. Further, he dropped out of the Fort Worth high school he was attending as a junior. Frankly, his future offered little hope beyond a life in a gang and the start of a path toward being a career criminal.

This young man's story touched Officer Gomez and his wife and began working with his mother to obtain guardianship of him. They took the young man into their home and enrolled him in school, where he became active in sports. He took junior and senior year classes to catch up from when he dropped out of school and excelled academically, making straight A's! He is enrolled in EMT classes and plans to apply at the Burleson Fire Department as soon as he is eligible.

According to the young man, this was made possible because of Officer Gomez's intervention, and he believes without Officer Gomez, he would be running the streets and selling drugs. This story highlights how one family can change the life of a child.