The Waxahachie Police Department and Chief Wade Goolsby conducted a special awards ceremony Wednesday evening to recognize several officers and dispatchers.
Six officers were recognized with special awards:
• Sgt. Bobby Gray – Medal of Valor
• Officer Andrew Gonzales – Purple Heart
• Detective Barry Owens – Life Saving Award
• Officer O.T. Glidewell – Life Saving Award
• Officer Danny Knight – Life Saving Award
• Officer Jill Turner – Meritorious Conduct
Sgt. Bobby Gray was presented the Medal of Valor by Goolsby, who described how Gray was off-duty and with his family in a local restaurant when a mentally unstable person came in and displayed a gun during a confrontation with an employee.
Gray calmly removed his family, the other customers and employees from the building and then talked with the person, securing both the weapon and her, and preventing any harm to anyone, Goolsby said.
Of the Purple Heart he presented to officer Andrew Gonzales, Goolsby said, “This is an award that I really do not like to give out but, in this case, the officer is well deserving. It is by the grace of God that he is with us today.”
Gonzales was putting out spikes to stop a suspect vehicle when the driver steered around the spike strip and directly toward the officer, Goolsby said.
“He was struck by the suspect’s vehicle and flew over the top of the car and landed about 30 yards behind it,” Goolsby said. “He was sent by air ambulance to Baylor in Dallas (yet) that same day, he walked out of the hospital.”
Life Saving awards were presented to officers Barry Owens and O.T. Glidewell, each of whom, in separate incidents, saved choking victims through use of the Heimlich maneuver.
Owens was at a local restaurant eating with several of his fellow detectives when one of them choked, necessitating Owens’ action.
“In officer Glidewell’s case, the victim was a large man,” Goolsby said. “It took [Glidewell] six tries to clear the obstruction and for the man to begin breathing.”
Officer Danny Knight was recognized with the Life Saving Award for the actions he took at the scene of a major vehicle accident scene, Goolsby said.
Officer Jill Turner was presented the Meritorious Conduct Award for her work in assuring all materials were ready for a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement audit relating to the department’s accreditation, Goolsby said.
Several members of the communications department were recognized by Goolsby for their advancements. These included:
• Lindsey Sims – promoted to communications supervisor
• Gloria Myers – promoted to lead dispatcher
• Sue Clark – promoted to lead dispatcher
• Caleb Collett – promoted to lead dispatcher
• Evan Cuellar – promoted to lead dispatcher
“We had an extensive search before settling on Lindsey Sims as our newest communications supervisor,” Goolsby said.