American Legion Post 29 recognized Chaplain Jason Hines as the 2019 City of Lenoir Firefighter of the Year and Sgt. John Howard as the 2019 City of Lenoir Police Officer of the Year during the City Council meeting Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
Police Chief Brent Phelps and Fire Chief Ken Hair both said it is difficult to select just one officer and firefighter to be honored every year.
“This year, we chose Sgt. John Howard for his extensive work in the opioid conspiracy case that we had going on for over two years,” Chief Phelps said.
Chief Phelps said Sgt. Howard put in around 1,500 hours into the case. Howard and other officers conducted more than 20 interviews during the case. Prosecutors charged seven people in the case and one plead guilty in federal court.
“I’m proud of the work that Sgt. Howard put in,” Chief Phelps said.
Chief Hair said Firefighter Jason Hines epitomizes what a selfless public servant should be. Hines always volunteers to help when needed. He volunteered to be the Fire Department chaplain when the previous chaplain retired. Hines also volunteers and serves as Chaplain for the Sawmills Volunteer Fire Department, and he serves as a Chaplain for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.
“He truly deserves this award and I’m proud to receive it on his behalf,” Chief Hair said.
Hines had a previous commitment and could not attend the meeting.
Chaplain Jason Hines
Sgt. John Howard
Pictured from left: American Legion Post 29 Adjutant Mike Mizak, Irv Eurto, Finance Officer Terry Melton, Lenoir Police Sgt. John Howard, Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Hair, Post 29 First Vice Commander Woody Smith, and Lenoir Police Chief Brent Phelps.