HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Police Department took some time Friday to award their best performing officers in its annual HPD Awards Day.
“It’s a way for us to recognize the hard work and dedication our employees have accomplished over the past year and it’s a great thing to come here today to celebrate them,” said Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker.
Officers received awards for most citations issued, most DUI arrests and most cases solved among others.
The department also recognized promotions within HPD, career milestones and awards of distinction that included Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year.
We were able to catch up with Detective Jeremy Dunaway, the Officer of the Year, and he told us about an operation where he was shot in the line of duty. His character during the time of chaos gained him respect among his colleagues.
“I was wounded," said Dunaway. “The people that were there with me they looked after me, took care of the situation, was able to take a suspect into custody and after I received treatment, since then I’ve fully recovered. For that, I’m grateful.”
Dunaway said the duty and honor to serve his community is what kept him devoted to his job as a police officer.
“It’s a great feeling. The best thing about it is being able to come to work and you have a victim that can’t defend themselves and you can go out there and stand behind them and back them up,” Dunaway said.
Charlesha Killingsworth, winner of HPD’s Civilian Employee of the Year award, said receiving this award has giving her even more motivation to do her part in keeping citizens in Hattiesburg safe.
“Just to come with these guys, these men and women everyday and make sure that they know what’s going on in the city as far the crime and things like that, that’s rewarding in itself for me,” said Killingsworth.