2019 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Khara has been serving the Tulsa Police Department for over five years. Her father was a police officer in her hometown of Norman and she was heavily influenced by a police officer when she witnessed the impact she had on their community. She observed how Safety Town Norman educated young children about bicycle, street and personal safety.
When the Tulsa Police Activities League (PAL) position was announced, she immediately applied knowing it was exactly what she had dreamed of doing. PAL is a citywide crime prevention program designed to build positive relationships between youth, police officers and the community. Recreational, educational, enrichment and mentoring programs are offered to youth ages 7 to 17, at no cost to participants. her accomplishments in building this program have surpassed all expectations.
She was given the “pink police car” due to her work ethic, visibility and positive reputation and she oftentimes displays the car off duty to generate conversations with the youth and public.
Firefighter Kelly Meeks
Kelly has served as a firefighter/medic for the Tulsa Fire Department for over 11 years. She is located at Station #31 next to the Tulsa International Airport. She also does shifts at Station #51 on airport property, where she is undergoing FAA Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighter training (ARFF).
Kelly received her Human Nutrition degree from OSU, but her true calling was to help others, which led her to become a firefighter/medic.
She has been a classroom and projects volunteer at the Little Light House for several years. Both her young daughters attended classes so special needs children have the opportunity to engage their typical peers. Typical children encourage children with disabilities, while at the same time modeling age-appropriate behavior.
Kelly also is a regular Meals on Wheels volunteer. She delivers much more than a nutritious meal to homebound seniors- she is also delivering wellness checks and caring contact.
2018 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
The Police Officer of the Year award went to Greg Comfort. Officer Comfort has served in the Tulsa Police Department for 32yrs and currently works at the Riverside Station. Coming from a law enforcement family, he always knew a badge was in his future. He first joined the Army and did tours of duty in Desert Storm, Desert Shield, in Central America, and Europe. Then in 1992, when he graduated from the police academy, his father pinned him with the badge he wore for almost 23yrs before retiring from the Tulsa Police Department.
Officer Comfort puts on safety programs for children in Tulsa Public Schools. In the last year he has made presentations to over 500 children in eight schools on safety, police careers, discipline issues, creating a tighter community bond with the children and their teachers. He is also a 32nd Degree Mason of the Scottish Rite and has performed at the Akdar Shrine Circus dressed in authentic Cherokee regalia to help raise money for the Shriners Children’s Hospitals.
The Firefighter of the Year award went to Craig Deeringwater. Deeringwater has served as a firefighter for the Tulsa Fire Department for over 18 years. While his initial career choice was to become a graphic designer, close to graduation from OSU Tech he realized he didn’t want to be restricted to an office environment. Following a conversation with his mother, he enrolled in the TCC Fire and Emergency Medical Services program. His graphic design skills are still used, however, for designing station logos, t-shirts for fundraisers, and painting murals in the training center.
As a medic with the department for over 10yrs, he always puts patients first and follows up on his days off. He noticed the needs of several teenagers that are regulars around the station and has contributed school supplies, uniforms, and even loaned our his daughters’ prom dresses to teens who weren’t planning to attend their prom due to not being able to afford dresses.
2017 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Detective Chad Moyer
Police Chief Chuck Jordan and Rotary Club President John Rains presented the Police Officer of the Year award to
Detective Chad Moyer. Moyer has served the Tulsa Police Department for 18 years and currently works as a burglary detective for the downtown division. He had the calling to become a police officer when a child and majored in Criminal Justice. Moyer is the father of a son and daughter and has volunteered as a high school football referee and with Veterans’ Affairs.
After 9/11, he joined the U.S. Army National Guard and is an Iraq/Afghanistan combat veteran. After two deployments, he received the Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation and a Purple Heart. A former Afghanistan fellow soldier was arrested by his squad and Detective Moyer offered to help. But his friend disappeared. Moyer never gave up and reached out via social media on several occasions. Several months later his friend started communicating and reported he had been arrested in Okmulgee. Moyer put him in contact with a drug rehab and drove him to Rob’s Ranch south of Norman for treatment. His fellow soldier received a suspended sentence and has been accepted in a college program where he’s studying to be a drug rehab counselor.
Firefighter Greg McCourt
Fire Chief Ray Driskell and Rotary Club President John Rains presented the Firefighter of the Year award to Greg McCourt. The award was renamed last year in honor of the late former Tulsa Fire Chief E. Stanley Hawkins who served the department for 37 years, and 21 of those years as chief. McCourt has served as a firefighter for the Tulsa Fire Department for less than two years. His passion to become a firefighter, for helping others, and willingness to reach out to help is inspirational and heart warming. Just a few examples of his compassion are evident by his drive to become a firefighter.
He was motivated after witnessing an accident and felt the call to learn how to help someone in need. He volunteered as a firefighter for two years and was thrilled when accepted into the academy.
As a father of three daughters, he’s a man with a big heart. He heard about a young man in New York with a rare disease and he and his wife, Valerie, raised funds to help him. He met a young girl who was a burn victim and immediately bonded with her. She became a part of his academy’s graduating class. While she was at the Shriners’ Burn Hospital, he sent her care packages and when she came home his fellow firefighters included her in special events, took the ladder fire engine to demonstrate at her school and stay in constant contact. McCourt also eagerly volunteered at the Oklahoma Burn Camp, which she attended last summer.
2016 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Police Officer Jim McClaughry
Officer McClaughry has served the Tulsa Police Department for 24 years and currently works in the Mingo Valley Division. He became a police officer to make a difference. And what a difference he makes. As a father of five children, including quadruplets, he’s a man with a big heart. He believes that everyone should perform random acts of kindness, and never expect to be paid back, just paid forward. While working his assigned areas as a Tulsa police officer, he notes families who are in financial crisis and oftentimes uses his own funds to provide food and warm clothing. Last Christmas he responded to a robbery where a single mother’s car was broken into and all the hard-earned gifts for her children were stolen. He personally purchased gifts and secretly placed them at her front door. Officer McClaughry attends community programs and interacts with children, leaving them with a better impression of the Tulsa Police Department. He has been involved with Boy Scouts for over 15 years and is active with Battle Buddies and 22 Until None, organizations helping to reduce the number of suicides by military veterans. He is also active with Sheepdog, Impact Assistance, a group of volunteer veterans and first responders who assist communities during times of disasters. The Rotary Club of Tulsa is honored to present James McClaughry with the 2016 Police Officer of the Year Above and Beyond Award and in his name will donate $1,500 to Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma.
Firefighter Dustin Fletcher
Dustin Fletcher has served as a firefighter on the Tulsa Fire Department for more than 11 years. His passion for athletics and a desire for a physically taxing profession led him to become a firefighter. While recovering from shoulder surgery after suffering a work-related injury, he researched unique athletic events for firefighters and discovered Guns N’ Hoses, a charity boxing match held in Florida benefiting police and firefighter charities. That sparked the idea to create a similar event here in Tulsa. As a result, in 2013 he founded 918 Fully Involved, a nonprofit organization that sponsors Smoke & Guns: a mixed martial arts and boxing, head-to -head competition between police and firefighters from cities across Oklahoma. More than bragging rights are on the line in the ring. Each group is fighting to raise money for deserving children, with the proceeds donated to the Oklahoma Firefighters Burn Camp and Special Olympics of Oklahoma. In its first two years the organization has raised over $60,000 to enrich the lives of children. As a by-product it has helped to build camaraderie between the police and firefighting communities and create a showcase for some very talented first responders. Firefighter Fletcher has spent countless hours dedicated to this event, soliciting sponsorships and financial support and recruiting participants. The Rotary Club of Tulsa is honored to present Dustin Fletcher with the 2016 Firefighter of the Year Above and Beyond Award. $1,500 will be donated to 918 Fully Involved in his name.
2015 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Police Officer Anthony (Tony) First
Tony First is a 16-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department who has spent almost four years working in the tactical medicine program not only for the TPD, but also the Broken Arrow special operations team and for qualified area law enforcement officers. Outside the TPD, he has taught classes for the Edmond Police Dept., the OHP, a mental health conference in OKC, plus train-the-trainer sessions at the request of the OK State Department of Health. The TPD has had 13 saves so far with Narcan, a nasal spray that used to reverse an opioid overdose, and received massive applause by the state mental health congress. In Tulsa a total of 29 lives plus one K-9 officer have been saved to date based on this training.
Firefighter Earl Blevins
Earl Blevins is a 19-year veteran of the Tulsa Fire Department who is fueled by fire and driven by courage to go above and beyond to make a difference. In addition to protecting and serving Tulsa citizens, Blevins finds time to volunteer for the American Red Cross and his church. When not wearing his firefighter helmet, he exchanges it for his cowboy hat and volunteers for the Professional Rodeo. Cowboy Association as an event judge and arena director for Rogers State University’s rodeo program. He believes the real heroes of the world are those who take the time to make a difference, especially in the life of a child. So he volunteers with children afflicted with cancer through the Kids-N-Cowboys Foundation and is a volunteer wish granter for Make-A-Wish Oklahoma. He has granted over 37 wishes providing hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
2014 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Detective Elizabeth Eagan
A 31-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department, Detective Elizabeth Eagan has spent the last 11 years working in the Sex Crimes Unit as an unrelenting and tenacious officer who pursues justice for individuals that have been victims of horrific crimes. When not protecting our community’s most vulnerable citizens, Detective Eagan is an active volunteer of Going Home Animal Rescue & Transport, an organization that transports animals between rescue groups and municipal shelters that are at over capacity so that the animals may have an opportunity to become adoptable pets.
Detective Eagan has contributed hundreds of hours to care for neglected animals and has transported many of them across the country to locations such as Denver, Chicago and Cincinnati. She also volunteered to rescue and transport animals that were lost and abandoned due to the fatal tornado in Moore, OK.
Eagan’s dedication of service to both her profession and volunteer efforts will have a positive and lasting impact on those touched by her work.
Firefighter Raymond Beard
A ten-year veteran of the Tulsa Fire Department and driver for Station 22, Raymond Beard embodies the meaning of ‘service above self.’ In addition to protecting and serving Tulsa citizens as a dedicated fireman, Beard is a dedicated and active member of the East Virgin Street Church of Christ.
When Beard learned that a fellow church member was in search of a kidney donor, he volunteered to undergo the necessary testing to determine if he was a compatible match. After lab results confirmed he was a donor match, without hesitation he volunteered to donate his kidney to the congregation member. Beard used his allotted sick leave and vacation time from work so that he could donate his kidney and provide the gift of life to another human being.
Beard risks his life daily to protect and save the property and lives of Tulsans. The act of donating his kidney to an individual in need exemplifies the true spirit of going above and beyond.
2013 Police Officers and Firefighter of the Year
Police Officers Jesse Guardiola and Mark Sherwood
Officers Guardiola and Sherwood built from scratch a program now recognized as one of the top 10 Hispanic outreach programs among law enforcement in the country by the Vera Institute of Justice. Their program drastically changes how the Tulsa Police Department interacts with the Hispanic community in Tulsa to focus on engagement and cooperation. Officers have increased the department’s Spanish-speaking fluency by 75%, gone to hundreds of community meetings to hear the concern of the Hispanic community, and steadily built relationships in the community.
Firefighter Mark Meyer
Pictured center is Firefighter Mark Meyer, a 15-year veteran of the Tulsa fire department. During a routine physical he was found to have stage 4 cancer in his stomach. While battling his own disease, he saw other people battling cancer, including children. He said he at least had to try to help them and their families. Meyer founded “Hydrants of Hope”, an organization created to help families supporting children with cancer.
2012 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Corporal Dan Ward
Tulsa Police Corporal Dan Ward in 2011 organized and participated in officer relief efforts in Hackleburg, Ala. and Joplin, Mo. after tornadoes ripped through those communities. Often using his own money and personal time for travel, he also trained 100 Philippine National Police Officers in safety tactics and later sent the agency needed equipment. Ward is also an active member in the Vest for Life program that has given out over 2,400 ballistic vests for free to law enforcement around the country.
Captains Jon Wintle and Scotty Stokes
Tulsa Fire Department Captains Jon Wintle and Scotty Stokes have spent countless hours since 1996 raising funds and organizing the Oklahoma Firefighter Burn Camp that serves 65-70 campers every August. Throughout the five-day camp, the children experience unconditional love and acceptance, and participate in team building activities that allow the children to interact and create bonds with one another, despite their life-changing injuries.
2011 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Detective Darren Carlock
Detective Darren Carlock is a 25-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department and the most experienced and senior investigator in the Department’s Child Crisis Unit. During his ten-year-tenure as a child crisis investigator, Darren has successfully worked thousands of cases in which children were the victims. Darren has either trained or helped train every other detective in the unit. With a reputation for his tireless pursuit of the truth, Darren routinely goes above and beyond normal protocal to find justice for victims who are often too young to speak for themselves.
As a child crisis detective, Darren faces the most appalling and disturbing crimes in our society including sex crimes against children, physical abuse of children and child fatalities and homicides. The responsibilities of the job can be extremely taxing on the emotions and have forced many other detectives to find new positions after only a short time on the job. Despite the emotional rigors, Darren finds the energy and spirit to push on because he knows completing a case the best way possible can prevent future crimes against children.
At home, Darren and his wife of 24 years have a special place in their hearts for children. After they were married, they served as foster parents for about ten years, with dozens of children under the age of 3 coming through their home. They now have five children of their own who range from grade school age to college age. Over the years, family time has been spent with a slew of activities including football, baseball, softball, orchestra and Boy Scouts. A Tulsa native, Darren attended Nathan Hale High School and the University of Oklahoma. He serves on three statewide child crisis boards.
In his nomination for Rotary’s Above & Beyond Award, one of Darren’s peers said, “In the last year Detective Carlock has been the primary investigator assigned to several potentially problematic child death cases … cases that could have potentially fallen through the cracks had Detective Carlock not stayed steadfast in his investigation to pursue the truth as to what happened to these children.” For this Service Above Self commitment to our city’s young people, the Rotary Club of Tulsa salutes Detective Darren Carlock.
Firefighter Jason Large
Fireman Jason Large, and Claremore native, grew up with Oklahoma’s wild and dangerous weather. But nothing except for his calm focus and dedication to helping others could have prepared him for September 21, 2009. An isolated flash flood hit Tulsa and a car was reportedly being swept under water near 21st Street North and Mingo. Jason’s unit was dispatched to the scene along with other Tulsa Firefighters.
They arrived to see a car’s taillights barely visible as the water rose rapidly. Jason was sent to check on occupants of the vehicle while the fire engine reversed out of rising waters. In the vehicle, Jason found a 62-year old male with his nose and mouth up against the roof for air to breathe. Jason stood in chest deep water as he instructed the man to move to the back seat, which was higher because the rear of the car was floating.
Soon, Jason was himself in chin-deep water. Without a command and with no help from others, Jason went under water, grabbed the man and pulled him out. With water up to his nose, Jason thrust the man onto his shoulder and carried him to high ground and safety. After the incident, Jason’s superior said that “This scenario was a true, act now emergency. Immediate intervention by Jason allowed this man to escape a doomed outcome.”
A trained EMT, Jason became a Tulsa Firefighter in 2005. He and his wife, Mandy, have two sons. They live in Claremore where they attend church and are active in youth sports. As his nominator for this award stated, “Jason’s height of 6 foot, 5 inches was a benefit. The heart and integrity to intervene now is not a benefit of height.” The Rotary Club of Tulsa is honored to present Jason Large with the 2011 Above and Beyond Award as Tulsa’s Firefighter of the Year.
2010 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Police Officer Charles Haywood
Officer Chuck Haywood is a 20-year veteran of theTulsa Police Department.During his tenure he has encountered numerous criminal,domestic and community issues that have elicited praise from his superiors, admiration from his colleagues, and adulation from the public.
In just the past year,Chuck responded to an armed robbery and his quick action led to four arrests and convictions.The same month he made arrests while investigating a methamphetamine lab
and also evacuated neighbors,helping reduce the potential for injuries. Also in 2009,Chuck was instrumental in the investigation of a child abuse case and helped investigators to make a homicide arrest. In April,Chuck responded to a call at Riverparks,where he encountered an armed suicide suspect who fired several shots.Officer Haywood spent hours negotiating with the suspect who finally surrendered without injury to himself,officers,or citizens. Two days later he took control and deployed officers and strategy to quell an angry crowd at a homicide scene.Chuck’s efforts and leadership led to the arrest of one suspect within an hour.
Chuck’s service does not end on the job.He has served as a role model as a longtime soccer and baseball coach.He’s authored an “Ask a Cop” column that answered questions from elderly readers
in Vintage Tulsan magazine.He routinely helps an elderly neighbor with chores and mowing and when no one stepped up to head his neighborhood association,Chuck agreed to serve as president.
In his nomination for Rotary’s Above & Beyond Award, a neighbor and business owner contributed letters of recommendation.One said,“not only has he enriched the lives of our guests and employees …he enriches the lives of all those with whom he comes in contact.”
For his heroic day-in,day-out service to our community and for his Service Above Self attitude off-hours, the Rotary Club ofTulsa salutes Officer Chuck Haywood.
Firefighter Danny Hite
A Collinsville native,Danny Hite joined the Tulsa Fire Department in 2005.His act of heroism while off duty on August 3,2008 reflects the dedicated professionalism of the men and women of the Tulsa Fire Department who risk their lives every day for all of us. Hite is a firefighter/emergency medical technician assigned to Station 19, located at 56th Street North and Cincinnati.
That warm Sunday evening,he and his wife Krista joined friends at Skiatook Lake,where they gathered near the lake’s popular jumping cliffs.As they watched a 19-year old man finish his dive from the outcropping above, they knew that something was terribly wrong.The diver landed on the back of his head and neck, knocking him unconscious.He immediately sank into the murky water.
Danny,Krista and another observer dived repeatedly to rescue the young man.After four or five minutes of searching, they brought up his limp body and others helped pull him into a boat.
As an EMT-trained firefighter,Danny quickly analyzed the situation and began chest compressions as Krista stabilized the victim’s neck from further injury.Hite instructed his friends to begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as CPR was continued as their boat traveled to the Highway 20 bridge,where Skiatook paramedics were waiting. Throughout the trip Danny continued monitoring the injured man’s vital signs. By the time they reached the shore and awaiting ambulance the patient had a pulse,but was still not breathing. As his nominator for this award stated,“Danny is professional,selfless, and compassionate.He saw a person in dire need of help and tried to save his life.The actions of Danny,hiswife Krista,and unknown rescuers gave this man his best chance of survival.”
The Rotary Club of Tulsa is honored to present Danny Hite with the 2010 Above & Beyond Award as Tulsa’s Firefighter of the Year.
2009 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Police Officer Tim O’Keefe
A 27 year Tulsa Police Department veteran, Tim O’Keefe is an excellent liaison between the police department and the community. O’Keefe leads a running program at Kendall-Whittier Elementary School, visits residents to help correct citation issues and attends community meetings as a different kind of police work.
Crime dropped in the area by 22% from 2007-2008; a sign of O’Keefe’s efforts toward cooperation between the police department and community.
Fire Engine 24A: Captain Mike Ward, Bill Esmeyer, Josh Gibson, Ronnie Miller, Nick Ridener, Adrienne Stoops
Station 24 responded to nearly 1300 calls in 2008, including a natural gas explosion at an apartment building where firefighters rescued someone trapped inside. In addition, they treated a Tulsa zoo employee who had potential spinal injuries after a fall in an exhibit containing anacondas and piranhas.
The group of firefighters and one paramedic teamed up with Tulsa Technology Center to provide EMT information to students. They also regularly work with students at Hawthorne Elementary School.
2008 Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year
Police Officer Jennifer Mansell
Jennifer Mansell is a Tulsa police officer who has dedicated more than 23 years of service to her profession. She is a passionate ambassador for public safety and is personally committed to serving her community. A tireless advocate for reducing Tulsa’s homeless epidemic, Officer Mansell is committed to solving this community challenge with compassion and humility. Recognizing a need to provide additional safety measures for Tulsa’s downtown business district, Officer Mansell took the initiative to create and implement a bicycle patrol program. She garnered support from her fellow officers, secured funds for bikes and equipment and coordinated training for this unique and impactful community program. She now serves as the downtown safety liaison and supervisor of the downtown bicycle patrols. Officer Mansell is also a six-year survivor of cancer and serves as an ambassador for breast cancer awareness. Officer Mansell exemplifies the Rotary value of service above self.
Firefighter Michael Baker
Michael Baker is captain of the E-22, A-Platoon with the Tulsa Fire Department. Serving the fire department for more than 12 years, Captain Baker has
demonstrated outstanding character, commitment and compassion to both the profession of firefighting and the community. An active and engaged member of the community, Captain Baker has volunteered his time to numerous philanthropic initiatives. Recently, he initiated a mentoring program with Jones Elementary School that allows him and his crew to serve as mentors to the students. He is also actively involved in fundraising for the school’s clothing bank. Captain Baker organizes many charity fire house dinners that have benefited numerous charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity and Prevent Blindness. He is involved with Leadership Tulsa and is an Honor Guard for the fire department. A consummate professional, Captain Baker serves his department and community with honor and pride.