DESLOGE — The late Jerry Hicks Sr. was recognized during the Mineral Area Elks Law Enforcement Appreciation Night Thursday.
Hicks was posthumously given the Centurian Award in appreciation of his career of dedicated service in law enforcement. He was named the Leadwood Police Officer of the Year during last year’s ceremony.
Elks Lodge 2583 Exalted Ruler Roland Seal gave the award to Dale Newman who was just named the new chief of Leadwood.
Hicks, 69, died in Dec. 4 after a car accident that happened the week before. He was on his way to pick up an inmate crew when he hit a patch of ice on a bridge on Highway 8 near Hopewell. His patrol car struck a tree at Railroad Road in Washington County.
Also during the banquet Al Sullivan Jr. received the Citizen of the Year Award.
Sullivan showed up late to the ceremony because he attended a county commission meeting that night.
“I came to see someone else get the award,” Sullivan said after accepting the award from Seal. Sullivan thanked the Elks for the award. “It means a great deal to me,” he said.
Sullivan has had careers in education and politics.
He taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Flat River Junior College, Southeast Missouri State University, and Central Methodist College.
He was elected St. Francois County’s public administrator in the early 60s. He was appointed the budget director of Missouri in 1965. He was a consultant for the Missouri Senate and was director of the State Reorganization Commission.
He has held the positions of business manager and then dean of Vocational Education at Mineral Area College until he “retired” in 1998. He has been the executive director of the St. Francois County Community Partnership since 2002.
He has committed his life to public service.
Sullivan has been on the St. Francois County Democratic Central Committee for 28 years and is the current treasurer for the committee, as well as the 8th Congressional District Committee. He served two years on the state Democratic Committee.
He is a member of several boards and organizations including the St. Francois County Ambulance District Board and the St. Francois County Industrial Development Authority.
Also during the night, Jim Wilson was named Deputy of the Year. He has worked for the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department since 2005.
“In the six and a half years Jim has worked for the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office, he is the only officer that there have been no complaints on, whether from the public, fellow deputies or other police agencies,” Sheriff Dan Bullock wrote in the letter nominating Wilson. “There have been numerous calls and correspondence giving Jim accolades in handling any situation, going above and beyond the call of duty to be professional in the performance of his daily duties.”
Other award recipients included Desloge Patrolman Josh Lasley. He has worked for Desloge since 2010.
Officer Dustin Smith was named Farmington Officer of the Year. He is a third-generation law enforcement officer. He has worked for Farmington since 2007. Before that, he worked for Park Hills.
Lt. Bill Stegall was named the Bonne Terre Officer of the Year. He has been with the department 17 years.
Larry Penberthy was named the 911 Dispatcher of the Year. He has worked for St. Francois County 911 since 2003. He was promoted to lead dispatcher in 2011. He is also a part-time Farmington firefighter.
Dan McCarron was named the Paramedic of the Year. He has worked for St. Francois County Ambulance District since 1988.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Trooper of the Year, Andrew Woods, was unable to attend the ceremony because he was completing training. Woods has been a trooper since 2009 and is assigned to Zone 15 in St. Francois and Washington counties.
The guest speaker of the night was Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Replogle spoke of the importance of having good working relationships with other law enforcement agencies. One example he gave was the Joplin tornado.
To see more photos from the law enforcement appreciation night, look for the article online at https://www.dailyjournalonline.com
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at email@example.com.