Jon Hitchcock of Pioneer Bank congratulates Jacob Sanchez, of the Dexter Police Department, during an Honor the Badge ceremony, Wednesday evening. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Roswell Police Department Detective Jeannie Madsen won Outstanding Police Officer of the Year Wednesday night during the annual Chaves County Character Counts! Honor the Badge Ceremony. The event commemorates outstanding public servants in law enforcement for building and upholding the public trust.
â€œDetective Madsen has the highest level of integrity,â€ Judge Alvin Jones read aloud to the 40- strong crowd gathered in the Chaves County Administrative [auth] Center. â€œShe will always do the right thing, even if no one is watching.â€
Madsen, a former paralegal turned police officer, has served in the RPD for 11 years. Her supervisor, Sgt. Erik Hiatt, said he nominated her for living up to the Character Counts! six pillars of character (respect, caring, trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility, and citizenship) both on and off the clock.
He noted in his nomination letter to the Character Counts! Board, which he co-chairs, that when she is not doing detective work, she coaches 5th-grade volleyball at Yucca Elementary School, chairs the Law Enforcement Torch Run, organizes fundraisers for the Special Olympics and serves on the Alzheimerâ€™s Committee, Esperanza House Committee, Behavior Health Committee and Down Syndrome Committee.
â€œI donâ€™t know how she finds the time when I take up so much of it,â€ he joked.
Madsen received a standing ovation from the crowd, and when she stood up to accept her plaque and gift certificate for a complimentary 2- night stay at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, her handcuffs dangled from her sparkly black belt.
â€œThis is awesome,â€ Madsen said. â€œI feel excited just to have been nominated.â€
The three other Honoring the Badge recipients were Jason Tutor, Chaves County Sheriffâ€™s Office; Jacob Sanchez, Dexter Police Department; and Pat Barncastle from the 5th Judicial District Attorneyâ€™s Office. Each recipient receives a plaque and a free night at The Lodge at Sierra Blanca in Ruidoso.
The ceremony, sponsored by Pioneer Bank, took place in conjunction with National Character Counts! Week, which is held every third week every October to celebrate good character.