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Mesquite, Texas – March 1, 2019 – Elks Lodge #2404 presented its annual awards for police, fire and citizen of the year. Congratulations to Terry Rhone, Police Officer of the Year; Elliot Howard, Firefighter of the Year; and Don Douglas, Citizen of the Year.
Officer Torrey Rhone is an 11-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department (MPD). Torrey commits countless hours at Crime Watch meetings, community events, recruiting tours and other events. He always projects a positive image of the department and aids in building relationships with citizens. He is especially committed to mentoring and developing the youth of the community. Torrey is heavily involved in MPD’s Explorer Post, a program for teens interested in law enforcement. He plays an integral role that influences many of the youth with which he comes into contact.
Firefighter Elliot Howard began his career with Mesquite Fire Department (MFD) in 2005. Elliot goes beyond his duties as Driver-Engineer, and his peers take notice. Elliot took the lead in MFD’s swift-water rescue program by writing SOPs, finding grants and assisting with training. As a self-contained breathing apparatus (SBCA) tech, Elliot performs exemplary work. He commits to keeping firefighters’ exposure to cancer as low as possible by cleaning all the SCBAs after each fire. Elliot’s actions have improved the well-being of MFD staff as well as the quality of service MFD provides.
Mesquite resident Don Douglas made news in the community when, last year, WFAA told the story of his financial donations to Florence Elementary School students who could not afford school lunches. Soon after the story broke, local company SeeBoost saw an opportunity to give back to someone deserving. Don, who lost most of his vision, received a special pair of eyeglasses from SeeBoost. Two weeks later, Don wore those eyeglasses to visit the Florence Elementary students he had helped for more than a year. In addition to seeing the students clearly for the first time, Don’s new eyeglasses allowed him to bring an added surprise—he read a book to the students directly from the pages.