(Seguin) -- A hand-full of Seguin's finest were recently recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty. The Seguin Police Department is announcing some special awards presented at this year's 2017 Employee Awards Banquet. Staci Sanchez was named Civilian of the Year, Officer Steven Trinidad received Rookie of the Year, Cpl. Michael Guerra was named Supervisor of the Year, and the Officer of the Year Award went to Brandon Torres.
Police Chief Kevin Kelso says all four employees were very well deserving of the awards.
"We've been doing this for a few years now. This is an example or one example that we use to try to recognize our employees, but we have employees who are doing a tremendous job for our community. They're out there every day, trying to do the best that they can to create a better quality of life. Being nominated by their supervisors and selected by a panel, it's got to be pretty rewarding that their work isn't going unnoticed -- that what they're doing does matter. It's something that makes you feel good about," said Kelso.
Kelso, speaking on behalf of Cpl. Guerra, Supervisor of the Year, says he is proud of his continued accomplishments. He says this year's Supervisor of the Year was last year's Officer of the Year.
"Corporal Guerra was obviously nominated by his supervisors, his sergeants (and) lieutenants for the job that they see that he does. He was nominated by them. Then a chief's panel was put together and he was selected obviously for Supervisor of The Year. Some of the basis for his nomination and selection was because he's always there. He's at all the calls. He's there for anybody's questions. He just does what we expect a supervisor to be, to do. That's to make sure we're doing proper (work) and overseeing the every day going ons of our officers," said Kelso.
Officer Torres, Officer of the Year, has been protecting and serving the community of Seguin for just over a year and a half and already has gained the attention of his colleagues. However, Officer Torres says the work is made even more special when you work with such a great department
"I work with a good department. We're more community oriented, getting involved with the kids, being proactive with all of our different burglaries and so forth. So it makes it a lot easier. It's fun to come to work when you work with a group of guys like this. So it just makes doing the job a whole lot easier -- interacting with the community, passing out cop cards and so forth. It's not us versus them, the whole community comes together. So it makes my job a whole lot easier," said Torres.
The Civilian of the Year award was given to Sanchez, who serves as the department's community services technician. Sanchez, who has served the department for the last nine years, says she is honored to have received the award for the second year in a row.
"Like I said, I was like they are obviously happy with my performance. Within this year though, I also became a certified Child Safety Seat Technician. So I'm taking on little extra roles just to better the community and what not. So little things to pick up here and there to help us out," said Sanchez.
Officer Trinidad, this year's Rookie of the Year, says he too appreciates the vote of confidence from his peers.
"I was surprised. The other officer I was going up against, he's a really good officer. They could have gone either way, but to be honored with Rookie of The Year from my peers, it's a great accomplishment for me and to come from my peers, it's awesome," said Trinidad.
In addition to this year's employee awards, the winners of this year's 4th Annual Seguin PD Lawman's Stache Showdown were also announced. The winners of this year's showdown were Deputy Chief Bruce Ure, The Grayest Facial Hair, Father-time Award; Officer Ben Lopez, Best in Show by Facebook votes; Officer James White, the Thickest Facial Hair and Lt. Mike McCann, Best Multicolored Facial Hair.
Officer White says it's always a good time when you can grow a beard for a good cause.
"I love the participation for it. I love that we do something more with the community. It was fun. It was something that got the community involved. It wasn't just amongst ourselves. It's a tough competition," said White.
As for Deputy Chief Ure, he says he wasn't too surprised about winning the award for most gray.
"I feel like I won Miss Congeniality. I was the guy that really doesn't like beards and so to win the Father-time Award -- some say it is an honor but I'm just glad that we contributed and we raised money. That's all that I care about," said Ure.
The showdown begins on Oct. 1. Members wishing to participate donate $25 to grow a goatee or $50 for a beard. This year, the Seguin PD were able to donate $3,585 to the Guadalupe Regional Medical Foundation and were able to include a community vote via its Facebook page. Each officer that participated also had the opportunity to be sponsored by a family member, friend or business at a chance to win a SPD prize. This year's donation was double last year's contribution to the foundation.