Police officers enjoy family dinner thanks to group of residents in Washington City

ST. GEORGE — Police officers in Washington City enjoyed dinner with their families Tuesday evening at a banquet that was catered as a show of appreciation for their service to the community. The banquet was followed by an annual awards ceremony that had been previously postponed due to the pandemic.

Paul Wilkinson and his group serves dinner to Washington City Police Officers at Veterans Park, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 13, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The dinner and awards ceremony was held in the large pavilion at Veterans Park located next to Washington City Hall, where nearly 100 officers and their families gathered to enjoy a meal consisting of tri-tip beef, corn dogs for the younger crowd, twice baked potatoes and baked beans. For dessert, guests were offered their choice of either pumpkin or cherry pie and ambrosia.

Paul Wilkinson, who organized the dinner, said the primary purpose behind the event was to recognize the officers for the important role they play in keeping the community safe, particularly at such a challenging time for law enforcement nationwide.

He said that after watching the news and seeing how law enforcement are being portrayed, he wanted to do something to show appreciation for the selfless service they provide.

Wilkinson referred to an incident a few weeks ago when his neighbors’ alarm went off. No one was home at the time, so Wilkinson went over to check the home, and as he was doing so, three Washington City Police officers showed up within minutes. The officers went through the property and checked the home to make sure it was empty before leaving.

“I just want them to know they are valued in this community,” Wilkinson said. “If it weren’t for them, this place would be a madhouse.”

L-R: Mariam Davis and Chief Jason Williams during dinner and awards ceremony held at Veterans Park, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 13, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Rebecca Pierce, Wilkinson’s daughter who has spent years owning her own catering business, flew in from North Carolina to help with the event.

Pierce said she is a “staunch supporter” of law enforcement and couldn’t imagine living in any community without them, adding it is the efforts of the officers that keep the community safe and that they go above and beyond to serve the citizens.

Ferrell and Venda Hill, who were serving food during the dinner, were scheduled to serve a mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Germany, but travel to the country was cancelled due to COVID-19, they said, so instead they are doing what they can to serve the community until travel resumes.

As dinner was winding down, the awards ceremony commenced. Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News the catered dinner provided the perfect opportunity to present the awards, with so many officers and their families gathered in one place.

Officers line up during dinner and awards ceremony held at Veterans Park, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 13, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The Officer of the Year award was presented to Officer Nolan Tanner, while Lt. Kory Klotz received the Supervisor of the Year award.

In keeping up with the spirit of a physically fit department, Williams presented eight officers with the Superior Fitness award, three of whom have received the award for the past three years. Another recipient, Klotz, has been awarded for superior physical fitness six years running.

Mariam Davis received the Chief Award for doing “whatever it takes for our department,” Williams said.

In charge of keeping the department’s computer network and data technology running smoothly, IT expert Kelly Carlson, received the Interdepartmental Award” for going above and beyond in his efforts to maintain the network of data systems within the department.

A full list of the awards is included in the gallery.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.  

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!