Six annual awards were presented over a roast-beef dinner inside the Denton Country Club on Thursday.
The Denton 100 Club, a nonprofit organization of area businesses and residents supporting Denton police officers, played host to the annual Denton Police Department Appreciation Banquet.
Officers of the year are broken up into two categories — special assignment and patrol. After handing out various other awards and prizes donated by local sponsors, the time arrived for the winners and runners-up to be announced.
Jay Seiler, a warrant officer with the department, won Officer of the Year — Special Assignment.
Hank Dickenson, master of ceremonies and University of North Texas senior associate athletic director, said Seiler uses his previous experience as a patrol officer, an investigator of juvenile and child abuse cases, as a SWAT officer and as a hostage negotiator to assist and advise other officers in their assignments.
Seiler, a 31-year veteran, was described as a hard worker known for seeking excellence in all that he does.
“I’m honored and humbled to have received this award, especially considering so many hard-working and deserving officers,” Seiler said. “It’s always a great honor to be recognized by your peers. A special thanks to the sponsors and to the 100 Club of Denton.”
The rounds of applause died down and the final award of the evening was announced.
Randy Bolin, who said he will have served with the department 18 years this August, won Officer of the Year for patrol.
Dickenson described Bolin as a “cop’s cop.”
“He sets an example as to how to treat people and investigate crime legally and ethically,” Dickenson told the crowd.
Bolin, now a training officer with the department, said he was humbled by the award.
He said he couldn’t have been the person he is in his profession without the support of his wife and two boys.
“I just want to thank all involved in making this event happen,” Bolin said.
During the night’s ceremony, four other awards were given.
Kevin Kronenberger was named supervisor of the year, Jennifer Dooley was named communications officer of the year, Maria “Gabby” Moore was named civilian employee of the year and Gary Steele was named volunteer of the year.
Shane Kizer, a member of the 100 Club, said the nomination process starts with peer voting within the police department.
After the nominations are gathered, he said, the winner and runners-up are decided on by a board consisting of a member of the Denton Police Officer Association, a Citizens Police Alumni member, a representative from the 100 Club, one civilian and one sworn staff member, and the past year’s two winners.
As the night came to a close, the winners in the room were recognized — not just the award recipients, but those who serve and protect the community daily — the men and women in blue.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.