Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 26, 2011

To protect and serve

Police officers, employees honored by city Thursday

From Staff Reports
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The Corsicana Police Department named Ronny McGaha Officer of the Year, and Debbie Piel as Employee of the Year Thursday in a short ceremony at the Corsicana Government Center.

McGaha is the training and supply officer, who maintains the department’s fleet of cars, and who was praised for his efficiency by fellow officers. Piel is a part-time employee who is in charge of the evidence and property room for the department, and who undertakes full-time work on a part-time schedule, according to the nomination letters.

Allen Crawford was named Officer of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2010. Crawford, a former restaurant manager, was praised for his positive attitude as a patrol officer, by his supervisor Sgt. Kenneth Kirkwood.

Commendations were also give to Officer Kenneth Darby, the department’s K-9 officer, for his willingness to train new recruits; Reserve Detective Michael Ray, who donated 662 hours of work to the department last year in his efforts to process pawn shop sales and crime scenes; Field Training Officer Michael Dockery, who has also gone above and beyond in his training efforts; and Officer Roderick Tyner, who was given the medal of valor last year by the city.

“All of these folks are role models in the department,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton, who handed out the awards.

The department received 30 nominations for the awards this year, Bratton said.

Michael Ray is a full-time respiratory therapist and faculty instructor at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, and works as a volunteer Reserve Officer for the Corsicana Police Department in his spare time.

“I firmly believe you have to give back to your community, and this is the way I’ve chosen,” Ray said.

In his work, he looks through the records of local pawn shops and runs checks to make sure none of the items have been reported stolen.

“It’s not often that I get to return property to people that’s been stolen, but we have gotten to do that,” he said.

He began as a reserve officer for the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office back in 1979, and joined the Corsicana Police Reserves in 1984.

Although his career in the medical field is full-time, he said he started as a reserve officer because he had always wanted to be a cop.

“It’s fun,” he said.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com