By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun
It’s hard to fool a good lawman.
And when the lawman you’re trying to fool is the one you’ve selected as “Officer of the Year” it’s even harder.
And, they didn’t, at least not for long.
The 100 Club of Navarro County selected Lt. Jeramy Phillips of the Navarro County Sheriff’s Department as the recipient of the annual award, presented Thursday at a banquet held at the Corsicana Country Club.
Phillips, who serves as assistant jail administrator for the department, was told that his wife, Roni, was being honored at the event. Roni Phillips is a detective with the Corsicana Police Department.
However, the veteran lawman said he had his suspicions about the story the minute he walked into the country club.
“I knew there was something up,” Phillips said after Sheriff Elmer Tanner presented the honor.
“I don’t know if that’s from the training I’ve received from the sheriff or the chief deputy, or if they’re just slipping,” he added, garnering laughter from the audience.
“They brought me here under the pretense that my wife was receiving an award. We’re sitting at the sheriff’s table — the only table that’s labeled the sheriff — those were all key indicators,” he added.
Phillips began his career with the sheriff’s department as a jailer, and later moved to the patrol division for several years before returning to the jail as a lieutenant. Phillips is also on the department’s tactical unit, and is training coordinator for the agency.
“Although there are many deserving officers of this award, I recommend Lt. Phillips for his leadership efforts and dedication to service, both inside the agency and with the public that we serve,” Tanner said in announcing Phillips as the club’s choice.
Tanner said Phillips has taken a leadership role in the department by assisting in revamping and writing new policies for the detention division.
“He is always on the front line, ready to assist with any task in the agency,” Tanner said.
“A true leader is a person who leads by example, and sets an example for others to follow, ” Tanner continued. “I believe Lt. Phillips is a leader within our agency.”
Ned Polk, president of the 100 Club, also thanked Shirley Morgan of the Corsicana Police Department for her efforts on behalf of the club, handling administrative duties for the organization.
Polk said the club’s annual scholarship — offered to children of law enforcement officer — was not being presented this year due to the lack of entries for the award. He said the size and scope of the scholarship is being enhanced going forward in an effort to attract more applicants for the annual award. The scholarship is named for the late David Coley, a founding member of the group.
In addition to the annual honor given to a local law enforcement officer, the 100 Club is a support group that provides assistance to the spouses of officers killed in the line of duty, scholarships for officers and criminal justice students and equipment that can’t be gotten through typical channels.
Bob Belcher may be reached by email at email@example.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org