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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Ceremony honors those who serve Harker Heights

By Shannon Myers

For over 10 years, the Public Safety Commission Awards have honored the men and women who have gone beyond their job and the expectations of their peers and the citizens to serve the community of Harker Heights.
“Going above and beyond, that’s what this is about. It’s not just doing your normal job, it’s about doing the extra things that they do, things that they don’t have to do,” said Harker Heights Deputy Fire Chief, Glen Gallenstein. “As a Deputy Chief I get the privilege to see these outstanding things that these gentlemen and ladies do.”
The Public Safety Commission Awards allow citizens of the community and peers to nominate a Firefighter/Paramedic of the Year, Police Officer of the Year, and Citizen of the Year, the Linda Neault Award.
“We get letters probably on a weekly basis in which they thank them for something they did, so this is a way for the public (to) submit and show that appreciation,” said Chief Gallenstein.
The winners of the awards will receive their awards at the upcoming Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet and Celebration in October.
“It’s interesting to see people recognized who weren’t seeking recognition,” said Harker Heights Chief of Police, Michael Gentry. “It’s an energizing thing to see people being recognized doing good work and for caring about the job and about the people. That’s what makes these people special.”
The Public Safety Commission has the honor as well as the difficult decision on deciding which nominees will receive the awards.
It’s all about service, said Jack Palmer, chairmen of the Public Safety Commission. It gives us an opportunity to give back to those who serve us.
The commission will hold special meetings to go over and discuss the nominations. The decision process is significantly driven by the reason why a person nominates an individual.
“It’s a case by case basis. We’ve had a number of people who have received it based on the extraordinary work they did on a particular circumstance and others who have got it for a career of good work,” said Gentry.
Nominations must be submitted before Sept 30, 2016. Individuals can go online to the Fire Department, Police Department, or the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce to fill out an application.
People can also visit the Harker Heights Fire and Police Departments to obtain and submit a hard copy application.
“We recommend anyone that has had any interaction that they feel has gone above and beyond to put in for that person, because that person might be doing it every day… Their input is very much wanted and needed,” said Gallenstein.
For any questions, please contact the Harker Heights Police Department at 254-953-5400 or the Harker Heights Fire Department at 254-699-2688.


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