2021 Meritorious Conduct Awards

Each year the Meritorious Conduct Board reviews recommendations for employee awards based on outstanding acts or performances in which a citizen or officer demonstrates superior public service. The following individuals were recognized for their respective awards on April 19, 2021, at the Mesquite City Council meeting.  Due to COVID-19 protocols, award recipients were unable to receive their awards in person.

Sergeant H. Kent Tyler Officer of the Year Award

Officer Dustin Chautin

Officer Dustin Chautin was selected by a committee composed of fellow officers and departmental supervisors to receive this award. The Mesquite Police Department is proud to honor Officer Dustin Chautin with the Sergeant H. Kent Tyler award for 2020.

Officer Chautin joined the Mesquite Police Department almost 14 years ago. He learned his craft in patrol and quickly developed a reputation of being a highly proactive officer who could easily detect criminal activity. This work ethic led to his selection as a property crimes investigator. He rapidly became one of that unit’s top performers. His selection for an opening in the Narcotics Unit was no surprise and he swiftly learned the skillset needed for his new assignment. Officer Chautin has been the lead Investigator in multiple high-level and complex narcotics trafficking investigations, which were adopted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted at the federal level. The most recent resulting in the arrest and pending federal indictment of seventeen individuals and the seizure of 81 firearms, over $604,000 dollars, and thousands of pounds of illegal narcotics. Officer Chautin has consistently performed his duties at the highest level and is always willing to assist his coworkers with whatever task is needed to accomplish the mission of the Mesquite Police Department of protecting the citizens of Mesquite.

Civilian of the Year

Christy Russell

The Mesquite Police Department is proud to recognize Christy Russell with the “Civilian of the Year Award for 2020.

Christy is a 20-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department working as a Public Safety Dispatcher. Over the years, Christy has proven to be one of the most knowledgeable and conscientious members of the Communications Team. She rejoined the dispatch training team and is recognized as a kind, compassionate and patient trainer with her rookies. She has worked to set milestones on the NCIC console and is currently working on setting milestones for the other consoles enabling the Training Coordinator to assess when trainees are ready to move to the next phase of training. Christy has devoted herself to learn all topics concerning NCIC. She prepared all the necessary documents and made herself available to assist for the TCIC Audit. The auditor commended MPD on the level of organization and it was all due to the tireless work ethic of Christy Russell.

Christy has been recognized with the Service Champion award in 2009 and 2016, Certificate of Merit in 2008, and was selected by her coworkers as the 2014 Dispatcher of the Year. Based on her personal and professional characteristics, Christy is emerging as a first-class Public Safety Dispatcher and is definitely one of Mesquite’s finest.

The Lifesaving Bar & The Certificate of Merit

The Lifesaving Bar may be awarded to any police employee for the saving of a human life or for prolonging their life to the extent that the victim was released to the care of medical authorities.

The Certificate of Merit is awarded to police employees for outstanding or superior performance in any assignment over a prolonged period of time. Such performance is to be clearly defined as exceptional, placing them well above other officers or civilian of equal rank or grade.

Officer Nathan Snyder - Lifesaving Award

Officer Coy Wilson - Certificate of Merit

On February 9, 2020, Officers Nathan Snyder and Coy Wilson were dispatched to an assist fire call in response to an overdose. Upon arrival, the officers encountered the victim who was unconscious and not breathing. A family friend was performing CPR. Officer Snyder took over CPR procedures until the paramedics arrived. Officer Wilson gathered information regarding medication and investigated what occurred prior to their arrival from the victim’s daughter. Although a known methamphetamine user who had abused pills in the past, the victim gave no indication of wanting to harm herself. Paramedics transported the victim to Dallas Regional Hospital. In a follow up investigation, Detectives contacted the hospital and learned the victim recovered and was released from the hospital.

The Mesquite Police Department is proud to award the Life Saving award to Officer Nathan Snyder and a Certificate of Merit to Officer Coy Wilson.

Officer Robert Keith - Lifesaving Award

Officer Nicole Shire - Lifesaving Award

Officer Clay Woodruff - Lifesaving Award

Officer Brantley Miller - Certificate of Merit

On November 4, 2020, a restaurant employee overheard a 16-year-old threaten to commit suicide to his older brother and watched him run to the bridge over IH-635. The employee quickly called 911 to report the incident. Officer Brantley Miller arrived on the scene and contacted the witness on the bridge, who was visibly upset and told Officer Miller his brother had threatened to jump into traffic on the highway below. Officers Nicole Shire and Clay Woodruff arrived and contacted the juvenile on the bridge who was emotional and upset. The male was perched on the railing with one of his legs dangling over the edge. Officer Robert Keith arrived and began talking with the male subject, while Officers Shire and Woodruff dropped back, out of view of the subject. As Officer Keith was talking with the subject, Officer Miller was obtaining information from the brother and his mother and telling Officer Keith via radio so Officer Keith could make conversation with the subject.

Officer Keith was able to keep the subject focused on him, allowing Officers Shire and Woodruff to sneak up from behind, grab the subject and pull him to safety.

The Mesquite Police Department is proud to award the Life Saving award to Officers Nicole Shire, Clay Woodruff, and Robert Keith and a Certificate of Merit to Brantley Miller.

Officer Alex Sparling - Lifesaving Award

Officer Kenneth Barber - Lifesaving Award

On December 30, 2019, Officers Sparling, and Barber were dispatched to a shooting where they observed the victim lying in the street in front of a business. Officers Sparling and Barber located two gunshot wounds to his upper body. Officer Barber took a chest seal from the trauma kit he retrieved from his squad car. Officer Sparling placed the chest seal over the wound. Before transporting the victim to Baylor Hospital, one of the paramedics complimented the officers on their efforts. Follow-up investigation revealed the victim recovered and was released from the hospital.

The Mesquite Police Department is proud to award the Life Saving award to Officers Sparling and Barber.

Officer Clay Woodruff - Lifesaving Award

On January 5, 2021, Officer Clay Woodruff was dispatched to a suspicious activity call with Officer Joe Maddox. While on the call, Officer Maddox began to display visible signs of physical discomfort. Officer Maddox told Officer Woodruff he was okay, but that his head was hurting. Moments later, Officer Maddox informed Officer Woodruff the pain had radiated from his head down into his neck and chest. Officer Woodruff then told Officer Maddox to sit in his car for a moment while he continued to monitor him. When asked if he was feeling better, Officer Maddox did not respond. Officer Woodruff immediately called for an ambulance to medically evaluate and treat Officer Maddox. Mesquite Fire Department responded and paramedics quickly determined Officer Maddox’s condition required further medical treatment. Officer Maddox was transported to Presbyterian Hospital Dallas where he underwent emergency open-heart surgery. Doctors relayed to MPD personnel that Officer Maddox likely would not have survived had he not been brought to the hospital immediately.

The Mesquite Police Department is proud to award the Life Saving award to Officer Clay Woodruff.

Officer Richard Houston - Certificate of Merit

On October 14, 2020, Garland Police Department pursued a stolen vehicle and trailer into Mesquite where the suspects drove the wrong way on IH-635 and then abandoned the stolen vehicle in a grassy area. Mesquite Officers joined in the foot pursuit after the three suspects. DPS 101 helicopter was overhead assisting officers with the movements of the suspects. The suspects’ crime spree continued when they held a citizen at gunpoint to steal his vehicle. When they couldn’t get the keys to work, one of the suspects shot the citizen’s vehicle. Shortly after, two of the suspects were captured. The third suspect, who was the shooter, fired multiple shots at the helicopter, which caused the call of “shots fired” to be transmitted over the radio. More officers converged on the scene. 

The third suspect had entered a large drainage pipe. Officer Houston was one of several officers who were positioned to communicate with the suspect. Officer Houston could see the suspect holding a gun to his head and appeared agitated. Officer Houston was able to communicate with him, calming him down and assuring him that no one wanted to hurt him. The suspect eventually surrendered to Officer Houston. 

Several Garland officers and a Lieutenant communicated that Officer Houston’s professionalism, patience, and precise communication directly led to the surrender of the suspect who had committed two separate shootings. Officer Houston’s actions demonstrated outstanding performance of his duties under unusual, complicated, or hazardous conditions and his actions reflected well upon the Mesquite Police Department.

The Mesquite Police Department is proud to award the Certificate of Merit to Officer Richard Houston.

The Citizen's Certificate of Merit

The Citizen's Certificate of Merit is awarded to citizens for outstanding service to our community. Such performance is to be clearly defined as exceptional. The following individuals received the Citizen's Certificate of Merit:

Patrick Lee and Rene Santillan

On July 10, 2020, Mesquite Police Officers were in pursuit of a stolen vehicle when the vehicle came to a stop allowing two occupants to flee from the vehicle. Citizens flagged down officers to relay the direction the suspects ran. Patrick Lee chased one of the suspects, ordered him to the ground and waited with him until Officer R. Andersen took the suspect into custody. Patrick was also able to tell responding officers where the second suspect jumped a fence. This led to the capture of the second fleeing suspect hiding in bushes.

The driver of the stolen vehicle was able to elude officers and park at a nearby apartment complex in Dallas. Citizen Rene Santillan observed officers in pursuit of the black Honda Accord earlier and noticed it when it entered the apartment complex. Rene then flagged officers down, pointing to the vehicle. Officers then observed the suspect driver fleeing from the parked vehicle. A foot chase began through the apartment complex.  Rene ran the opposite direction around the building and was able to cut off the fleeing suspect’s avenue of escape. He briefly grabbed ahold of the suspect, which gave the pursuing officers time to catch up and take the suspect into custody.