Duncan Police Department officers and Stephens County Sheriff’s Deputies received recognition during the annual City of Duncan Public Safety Christmas Dinner hosted on Friday evening.
The event, hosted by Chief Danny Ford and his wife Sharon, along with New Hope Baptist Church West, aims to recognize officers with awards based on nominations from their peers and supervisors.
This year, Detective Jason Egger received the Officer of the Year award. While he was unable to attend Friday evening, he was presented with the award Monday morning by Chief Ford.
The award comes to Egger after an incident around 3:14 a.m. May 19 where Officer Zac Mitchell responded to a disturbance call in the area of Elm and 1st Street. When Mitchell arrived on scene, he proceeded into the area slowly when an unknown and unseen person began shooting at the vehicle, striking Mitchell’s patrol unit. Mitchell reported hearing at least four or five gunshots and quickly drove out of the line of fire as other officers responded to the area and began searching for the shooter.
Reports show the disturbance call was a “ruse and was used to lure an officer into that area.”
Egger happened to be the detective working that evening. He responded to the scene, where he began working to collect evidence and find and identify the shooter. That work would go on for several long days as Egger worked to find people in the area of the shooting that night and while he processed information trying to determine where the phone call to dispatch originated.
“He was diligent in running down every possible lead and from that he eventually identified a suspect,” reads Egger’s award. “He wrote and served a search warrant in which a gun and ammunition were found stashed in a disabled car. He obtained information that the gun used in the shooting was stashed inside a broken television and recovered that gun as well. He was relentless and thorough in his investigation and on May 21, 2019 at (7:49 p.m.), the suspect was located and arrested and charged with shooting with intent to kill.
“It is this type of dedication, professionalism and hard work that causes our Police Department to be respected and appreciated in the community and by surrounding communities,” the award stated.
Deputy Matt Brown with the Stephens County Sheriff’s Department was also recognized for his work through the Police Star Award. The Police Star Award is issued when an officer performs a “courageous act far above and beyond the call of duty” and the actions are deemed “sound and appropriate.” Those who receive the Police Star Award “knowingly and voluntarily exposes (themselves) to danger and the danger is so extreme that the officer’s death is a very high possibility.”
Lt. John Byers, Master Officer Chisholm Hale and Sgt. Ron Corcoran all received the Life Saving Award, which is presented to those officers whose actions distinctly contribute to the saving of a human life.
DPD Master Officer Bryan Eades took home the Meritorious Service Medal this year.
Duncan’s Fraternal Order of Police will continue to release information over the next few days on why each person was selected for the award they received. For more information, find Duncan Fraternal Order of Police on Facebook.