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Mesquite, TX – October 7, 2020 – At the Oct. 5 City Council meeting, Elks Lodge #2404 presented its annual awards for police, fire and citizen of the year during a prerecorded ceremony. Congratulations to Mike Smith, Police Officer of the Year; Chris Thomas, Firefighter of the Year; and Linda Cox, Citizen of the Year.
Mesquite resident Linda Cox selflessly serves the community through her countless hours of volunteering. From serving meal after meal to those in need, to throwing a prom for disabled children every year at the Mesquite Elks Lodge. Mesquite Mayor Bruce Archer said, “When there’s been needs in the town you have been there. The kindness in you, the compassion, the volunteering spirit that you have. You have done wonderful work.”
Investigator Mike Smith commits countless hours into his investigations. Starting in April 2019, Smith started investigating robberies at Wingstop, Foot Locker and other convenience store robberies in Mesquite. Officer Smith followed his leads which eventually led to the Dallas Police Department and FBI getting involved in the investigation. In May, Officer Smith coordinated with these two organizations to follow a suspect to Lancaster, Texas. While they were following him, the suspect and an accomplice robbed a Wingstop in Lancaster. The suspects were immediately taken into custody. During the entire investigation, Officer Smith was able to identify 14 robberies that took place not only in Mesquite, but Dallas, Irving and Lancaster as well.
Firefighter Christopher Thomas began his career with Mesquite Fire Department (MFD) in 2000 and received his Paramedic Patch in 2001. Chris has received three Life Saving Awards in 2001, 2005 and 2007. Over the past few years, Chris has not been in the typical firefighter role, but this does not stop him from making a difference at the Mesquite Fire Department. During the last six months of 2019, Chris was assigned to be the Backup Fleet Coordinator, to keep the Fire Department equipment operating and ready for service. He would go above and beyond, working outside his normal business hours to make sure repairs were made and crews had the equipment they needed.