Local Girl & Officers Recognized
For Service
     Megan Cease recently stood amongst seasoned police officers and volunteers to be recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Jacksonville Police Department for her generous acts of kindness
and community service.

Megan Cease, pictured with her parents Greg and Diana, was recognized by the Jacksonville Police Department for her service to the community.

Outstanding police officers and volunteers were also recognized during the recent awards ceremony. Pictured left to right are; Officer John Forte, Lt. Kenny Boyd, volunteer Winnie Blakey, Lt. William Shelly, 11-year-old Megan Cease, Secretary Gladys Taylor, Secretary April Kiser, Sgt. Brett Hibbs, Officer Regina Boyd and Officer William Monroe. Auxiliary Sgt. Dale Johnson and Auxiliary Officer Don Kahn, city officials George Biggs, Charlie Brown, Kenny Elliott and Marshall Smith are not pictured.


     The toddler sitting on the Jacksonville Police Department counter smiles at the clerk and happily hugs the fuzzy white teddy bear proffered to her.

     The white stuffed animal is one in the menagerie at the department donated by one 11-year-old girl. Not so unlike other kids her age, Megan Cease, a sixth grader at Northwood Elementary, started collecting stuffed animals more than a year ago.

     Instead of letting the stuffed animals sit in her room gathering dust, Megan decided to share them with others.

     With the help of her mother, the cuddly toys were bagged up and delivered to the police de-partment, where all too often, children walk through the same door under traumatic circum-stances. Shy Megan, who naturally avoids the lime light, had a sincere desire to bring smiles and comfort to others.

     A girl of few words, Megan responded quietly in response to questions about her motivation.

     “I want everyone to be happy,” she said, in almost a whisper.

     Her mother, Diana Cease, manages a store on the Little Rock Air Force Base. She helps Megan collect new and almost-new animals in good condition. With tender loving care, they make sure the animals are clean and pristine. More than a year ago Megan had collected enough to fill a very large plastic bag. With her mother's encouragement, Megan decided to give the animals a chance to brighten someone else’s day.

     “They walked in the door two years ago with this huge bag of stuffed animals,” said Police Chief Robert Baker. “She's an amazing little girl, who was willing to share with others. We admire her acts of kindness.”

     Megan aspires to be a crime scene investigator photographer when she grows up, but in the meantime, she plays softball and collects monkey collectibles and key chains.

     Secretary Gladys Taylor was honored as the 2005 Civilian Employee of the year, while Patrol Secretary April Kiser was given the Humanitarian Award. Sgt. Brett Hibbs was named Supervisor of the Year. Lt. Kenny Boyd was awarded as the Command Staff Member of the Year. Officer William Monroe and Officer John Forte were recognized with the Life Saving Award. Lt. William Shelly was given the Medal of Valor. Officer Regina Boyd was named Officer of the Year.

     Dale Johnson and Don Kahn were honored as auxiliaries of the year. Robert Fielding, pastor for the police department, was recognized for his volunteer efforts to assist the communications center.

     Larry Burton, a pastor, was given a certificate of appreciation for assisting the department in sponsoring the awards and recognition event.

     Volunteer Winnie Blakey, Parks and Recreation Director George Biggs, City Aldermen Kenny Elliott and Marshall Smith, City Human Resource Officer Charlie Brown were also recognized for their assistance to the police department.

     Donnie Farmer, senior vice-president of Community Bank and Chairman of the Civil Service Commision, was not in attendence, but will also be recognized for his assistance to the department.