WARNER ROBINS — The top cops among law enforcement agencies in Houston County, including those serving on Robins Air Force Base, were honored Thursday by the Warner Robins Noonday Optimist Club.
“It’s important to recognize these law enforcement officers for everything they do because they put their lives on the line for us every day,” said Houston County District Attorney Jason Ashford, an Optimist member. “It’s just our small way of telling them thanks for all they do for us.”
The officers are selected by the individual law enforcement agencies and then honored by the Optimist Club with an Officer of the Year plaque at the annual luncheon. Also, for the first time this year, a cash reward of $100 was given to each top cop by the Optimist Club, Ashford said.
Those honored were:
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— Master Sgt. Paul Diedrich, operation superintendent for the 78th Security Forces Squadron at Robins Air Force Base. Diedrich has served in a wide range of duties — including patrol, bicycle patrol, desk sergeant, flight security controller, flight chief, military working dog handler, kennel master and criminal investigator. While deployed, he has served as a military working dog handler, flight sergeant and a provost sergeant.
— Centerville police officer Kent Reed, a retired Bibb County Sheriff’s deputy, who now serves as a city patrol officer. Following retirement, Reed wanted to rejoin the ranks of law enforcement. He was characterized as the department’s “best community oriented officer,” having developed positive relationships within the community and among business owners.
— Houston County sheriff’s deputy Dennis Marshall, a field training officer on patrol. In public safety for 18 years, Marshall has served as firefighter, traffic motorcycle officer and instructor with added training in defensive tactics, accident reconstruction and firearms. He was credited as leading by example and for his positive work attitude.
— Perry police Lt. James Buck, community services and training division commander. His duties and job titles include Neighborhood Watch, departmental training, IT network manager, budget officer, citizens and business police academies coordinator and instructor, senior volunteer program, quartermaster and school resource programs. He was credited as one who gets the job done, no matter what the task.
— Warner Robins police officer David Houck, a member of the Selective Targeting Operational Police Unit (S.T.O.P.). The unit targets problem areas. He was credited for a strong conviction rate on his arrests, indicating his skill at assembling cases. He was also lauded as modest, humble, highly motivated and self-driven.
— Senior Master Sgt. William Thompson, senior enlisted airman for the Georgia National Guard’s counter drug task force, was the top cop for the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins. He is currently deployed. The drug task force, a joint U.S. Army and Air Force National Guard organization, is charged with supporting federal, state and local and community based organizations in the fight to eliminate drug abuse.