During a ceremony on Jan. 31, the Hutto Police Department welcomed three new sworn officers, recognized one for professional expertise and recognized two others for going above and beyond to support the new Hutto Police Explorers group.
“After I brought in Hutto Police Chief Byron Frankland just shy of two years ago, I am pleased to see that the department’s focus on training and education is paying off,” said City Manager Odis Jones. “As Hutto has grown over the past several years, Chief Frankland has made it a priority to prepare for the increased demands on his officers,” said Jones.
Hutto Police Chief Byron Frankland welcomed Ofc. Mitchel Barton, Ofc. Jerry Meador, and Ofc. David Torres to the department during the first part of the ceremony.
- Ofc. Barton served for three years in the Patrol Division of the Galveston Police Department before moving to Hutto.
- Ofc. Meador has more than 22 years of experience in law enforcement, serving within the Criminal Investigations Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
- Ofc. Torres served the Galveston Police Department for nearly three decades, then served in the Galveston Deputy District Attorney’s Office until joining the Hutto Police Department.
During the awards ceremony, Ofc. Suzanne Glass was recognized with a Police Commendation bar for her development and work with the newly-formed Hutto Police Explorer program and the daytime and evening Citizens Police Academy.
Pflugerville Independent School District Ofc. Sam Wilson was also recognized for his meritorious volunteer contribution to the Explorer program. Ofc. Wilson volunteered to swear in as an unpaid reserve officer in order to assist, putting in an uncountable number of hours to make the program a success.
Every day, during the summer of 2018, Ofc. Glass and Ofc. Wilson escorted their Explorers 30 miles south to Austin to train with other groups. The hard work paid off and this year, the Hutto Explorers are taking their training and dedication to state-level competition. They will compete in SWAT and close-quarters engagement, as well as other categories.
Ofc. Barton, one of the newly sworn in officers, was also recognized as the department’s “Top Gun.” This award is earned by the highest marksmanship and physical fitness scores in the department.
The growth of the Hutto Police Department is paying off for residents. In November 2018, the yearly crime report presented to the City Council showed an overall downward trend in crime rates across the City.
In fiscal year 2018, although calls for service rose 12 percent, overall citations fell 16 percent, and the report reflected a decrease in burglaries, robberies, criminal mischief and driving while intoxicated offenses among others, as compared to fiscal year 2017.
As areas around Hutto continue to grow and add officers to their law enforcement agencies, Frankland remains optimistic about the direction of the department.
“If you want to work for a growing department, train hard, learn from seasoned officers, and make a difference in a great community,” he said. “Come talk to me. We’ll put you to work.”
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