MOUNT VERNON — A rookie member of the Mount Vernon Police Department was presented with both of the department’s top awards for 2017.
Justin Willis, who was hired in 2016 and just completed his first full year as a patrolman, was voted by the entire department as the 2017 Officer of the Year and was chosen by Chief Roger Monroe for the 2017 Thomas E. Bartlett Award.
The winner of the Bartlett Award, named for the police chief from 1989 to 2006, is chosen by the chief of police.
“I didn’t expect it — it’s an honor (to receive both awards),” said Willis.
A native of Howard, Willis said he always wanted to be a police officer.
“I had the opportunity to do it in the army and now I have the opportunity here. I’ve been very fortunate,” he said.In addition to several members of the department, Willis’ wife, Christina, daughter, Klaire, and mother, Shiloh, were on hand for the ceremony.