Two new patrol officers were sworn in and numerous pins and ribbons were presented during Roman Forest Police Department’s annual law enforcement appreciation dinner, held this year on Feb. 4 at the East Montgomery County Improvement District building in New Caney. Police Chief Stephen Carlisle announced the awards.
“Employee recognition is one of the police department’s strongest motivators. Therefore, it shall be the policy of this agency to recognize and present citations, commendations and awards to employees for exemplary, exceptionally meritorious, heroic acts and outstanding professional behavior to stimulate employee morale and motivation,” Carlisle said to a packed room of supporters and law enforcement personnel.
“In addition, this agency will recognize and present citations, commendations and awards to citizens who assist the police department in achieving the police mission of public safety,” he continued.
Officer Brian Smith was announced as the department’s Officer of the Year. Smith has worked for Roman Forest PD since 2017, serving on the special response team, DWI enforcement and narcotic interdiction.
“Officer Smith took great pride in proactively patrolling the city of Roman Forest searching for suspicious people and activity as illustrated by his self-initiated field contacts, which were twice that of the entire departments average during the year,” Carlisle said. “When it came to detecting and apprehending serious criminals, Officer Smith made nearly four times the amount of felony arrests as his peers. We could not be more proud of Officer Brian Smith for all his accomplishments since joining the Roman Forest Police Department. Officer Smith is an outstanding police officer and the example of what it means to be a Roman Forest Police Officer.”
Carlisle explained that Smith was chosen for for having nearly 80 percent of the entire department’s criminal arrests. Smith currently has the most Driving While Intoxicated arrests in the history of the Roman Forest Police Department. He additionally holds the second-most narcotics arrests for the history of the Roman Forest Police Department.
“He has proven to be a natural at police work, especially DWI arrests. With his commitment to taking our drunk drivers off the street, we also nominate him to receive a MADD Award for DWI Enforcement,” Carlisle said. “Officer Smith is viewed as a leader among his peers. He is respected by his co-workers and is a highly dedicated and well-rounded individual who displays the highest work ethic as a police officer.”
Officers who retired from Roman Forest PD also were recognized. The group includes Tom Johnson, retired in 1988 as assistant chief and interim chief; Robert Puddy, retired in 2011 as corporal; Ed Summer, retired in 2013 as a reserve commander; Earl Kyle, retired in 2014; and Titus Wells, retired in 2017 as reserve commander.
Officers Bryan Sorola and Carlos Diaz were sworn in by Carlisle and presented with their new badges.
A service bar was presented to Officer Jackie Garza. One bar is permitted for four years of completed service to the department.
Other awards and recognition included:
- Field Training Officer ribbons to Officers Carlos Herrera, James Parker and Brian Smith
- Chaplain bar to local minister Josh Fleming
- Special Weapons and Tactics S.W.A.T. bar to Brian “Big Army” Smith
- Instructor bar to Capt. Lonnie Cantwell
- Swift Water bar to Carlos Herrera
- Advance Peace Officer ribbon to Capt. Dimitri Jasonis
- Certificates of appreciation to Steve Wanderman, Matt Busby and Tiffany Riggs
Members of the Roman Forest Law Enforcement Explorer group were also promoted for their hard work and dedication to the program. The new ranks are John Garcia, corporal; Roamine Garza, corporal; Patrick Price, corporal; Nayeley Martinez, sergeant; Paola Olascoago, first sergeant; and Tyler McDanel, lieutenant.
Years of Service awards were presented to officers with more than five years of service, including Richard Davis, five years; Capt. Dimitri Jasonis, 10 years; Cpl. Randy Blackketter, 15 years; and Chief Carlisle, 25 years.
Safe Driving Awards were presented to Cpl. Randy Blackketter, Capt. Lonnie Cantwell, Cpl. Fidel Flores and Greg Sammon.
Ronnie “Bubba” Tullos was recognized with a community service commendation for all the many hours he dedicates to the community through work with the Masonic Lodge and Shriners Club. He also donates his time teaching license-to-carry courses that bring in donations for the VFW and police department training fund.
Tullos also was recognized as the Reserve Officer of the Year.
A Life-Saving Award certificate and citation bar were presented to Officer James Parker.
“In February 2018, Officer James Parker was at his home when his neighbor entered his house bleeding from a gunshot wound to his groin. Officer Parker brought the man outside to his driveway and directed his wife to call 9-1-1,” Carlisle said. “Officer Parker laid the shooting victim down on the driveway and located the bullet wound. [He] applied pressure pads and gauze with sufficient pressure until emergency personnel arrived to take him to the hospital.”