Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 22, 2013

Two public servants named 'employees of the year' for exceptional civic work

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

CHEROKEE COUNTY — Jacksonville Police Officer Chase Berryhill of Alto and Rusk Volunteer Firefighter  A.P. Dement of Rusk round out 2012's list of area public servants lauded as "employees of the year" by their respective agencies.

Berryhill, 23, was named "Officer Of The Year" and Dement, 30, "Fireman of the Year," both in December.

The Jacksonville Fire Department did not designate a 2012 employee of the year.   

By all accounts, Berryhill had an exciting 2012 – particularly in December. He made headlines in December when he apprehended an alleged serial burglar out of Tarrant County.

This incident included a vigorous car and foot chase and a slight scuffle. Berryhill caught the suspect and recovered all the property from the burglary.

That same week, Berryhill also was part of another chase during which shots were fired in his direction.

"This gives you some clue as to why he was named Officer Of The Year," Chief Reece Daniel said at the time.

"He's young, he stays in shape, and he's a member of our SWAT Team."

The officer graduated from East Texas Police Academy in Kilgore in November 2010 and came to work that same month  as a patrol officer in the department's Uniform Traffic Division. Currently he is working on the shift for Sgt. Royce McCullough.

Meanwhile, A.P. Dement was heartily congratulated by the Rusk Chamber of Commerce for being named 2012 Rusk VFD Fireman of the Year.

The Jacksonville Daily Progress already reported Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputy Brent Eugene Dickson, 26, of Jacksonville, being selected as the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department's employee of the year.  

It was also noted by the JDP  that Cherokee County Correctional Officer Todd Andrew Driver, 33, of Rusk was named jailer of the year.