By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Former Tupelo councilman Bill Nesmith doesn’t volunteer to receive awards but it’s sure nice when he gets one.
Nesmith was named Tupelo Police Reserve Officer of the Year by his peers in the Tupelo Police Department. Nesmith, one of 22 officers in the reserve unit, said he was shocked and surprised to win the award.
“I can honestly say I didn’t expect to win it,” he said. “I love being a reserve officer and I love being able to help the city in various ways. So winning an award for something you enjoy doing is wonderful.”
Sgt. Katarsha White is the department’s Community Oriented Policing coordinator. She said officers reported Nesmith always goes above and beyond his duties as a reserve to accommodate his fellow officers and the public, making him an ideal candidate for the award.
“He has been with us as a reserve since 2006 and he always gets great feedback from the guys he rides with and the other reserves,” said White. “He patrols as often as he can and that makes a difference in our community. The reserve division is a great tool for the department.”
The reserve unit does everything from assisting on patrols to working festivals, and they do it for free. Police Chief Tony Carleton said having the patrol division allows the department to be more flexible in what they can do.
“They are just a huge asset to the department,” said Carleton. “They are well-trained and very selfless when it comes to doing their jobs. We have great reserves and they are just as much a part of this department as any other officer.”