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Sanger Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year Presented by American Legion Post 268

The Amercian Legion Post 268 in Sanger  presented the Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year for 2023 on January 2, 2024 at the City Council Meeting.  Daniel Wisian was the Firefighter of the Year for 2023.  Assistant Sanger Fire Department Chief Casey Welborn said, “Daniel has done a great job in the past year in showing all the attributes that we look for in a firefighter. He has gone to 2 certification classes in preparation of us receiving our new truck in 2024. He has also showed a great attitude around the station. He has helped train some our new guys in fire and EMS. Daniel has done everything that has been asked of him. Daniel has shown great compassion to our citizens, and treated everyone he encountered with the up most respect. This is why we have chosen Daniel Wisian to receive our Firefighter of the Year award for 2023.”

Sanger Police Chief Tyson Cheek presented Lieutent Justin Lewis as the Officer of the Year for 2023. “I asked members of the department who they would select as Officer of the Year for the Sanger Police Department. The person garnering the most comment and praise was Lt. Justin Lewis.

In April of 2023, the Chief Waylon Rhodes left the Sanger Police Department suddenly and without warning. Assistant Chief Johnathon Perkins had retired recently leaving a vacuum at the top of the department. Lt. Justin Lewis was immediately thrust into the role of head of the department until I was hired as interim chief in June. At that point both staffing and morale was at a low point, and Lt. Lewis had many hats to put on. As one officer put it, ‘From the abrupt leaving of the former chief and the assistant chiefs retirement; I believe he has had a tremendous amount of work on his plate. He essentially had to take the helm and prevent the ship from crashing into the rocky shore. I also believe he is a positive role model within the department. One of the ways this is demonstrated is through the sheer number of hours and work he has put in throughout the course of this year.’

Another wrote, ‘First, Lieutenant Justin Lewis stepped up and took on the brunt of responsibilities required to keep the Department running after the sudden departure of our former Assistant Chief and Chief of Police. On top of tending to his investigative duties and patrol responsibilities, Lewis tended to day-to-day decisions and tasks of managing personnel, equipment issues, and dealing with City Hall. Lewis even took on regular shift coverage when staffing required it.’

I was hired as interim chief in June, and later chosen as the permanent chief in October of this year. I can attest to the level of knowledge, service and dedication Lt. Lewis provided during that time frame. In addition, there was a steep learning curve as chief coming from an outside agency. Lt. Lewis has been a constant source of aide and knowledge in getting to know the department, how it functions and in navigating city administration. His help has made the adjustment far easier than it could have been. It is my honor to present Lt. Justing Lewis as Sanger Police Department’s Officer of the Year.”


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