Dysart-Kendall American Legion Post 29 recognized Lieutenant Scott Brawley as Firefighter of the Year and Sergeant Martin Crisp as Police Officer of the Year during the regular City Council meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 16, 2022.
Post 29 started the Firefighter and Officer of the Year to recognize local emergency services members and thank them for their contributions to keep the community safe. Post 29 also recognizes the Sheriff's Deputy of the Year and the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the Year.
"One of the pillars of the American Legion is national security, and national security starts with local security," Post 29 Commander Irv Eurto said. "We do this to recognize individuals who have excelled. I'm certain that it's a difficult decision of the department chiefs to come up with one name among so many quality people."
Post Commander Eurto recognized Sgt. Martin Crisp first, and asked Chief Brent Phelps to say a few words about why Sgt. Crisp was selected as Officer of the Year.
"It is tough when you have a building full of great men and women who work really hard day in and day out to pick just one person," Police Chief Brent Phelps said. "It's a tough choice, but it's a blessing to have the number of talented people that we've got in our building and in all the city departments. We're very fortunate."
Chief Phelps reviewed a long list of Sgt. Crisp's military service and police accomplishments while serving the nation and the City of Lenoir.
Sgt. Crisp served in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) from June 2000 to December 2008 and achieved the rank of sergeant. He received many military medals and decorations including Combat Action Ribbon, two USMC Good Conduct Medals, two Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, three Iraq Campaign Medals, Global War on Terror Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, two Certificates of Commendation, Letter of Appreciation, Meritorious Mast, and four Rifle Expert Badges.
He joined the Lenoir Police Department in December 2010, was promoted to Corporal in 2015, promoted to Detective 1 in 2017, and promoted to Patrol Sergeant in 2020. He received the department's Good Conduct Medal in 2014; he holds the Intermediate and Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from Training & Standards, and he serves as a Taser, Subject Control Arrest Techniques (SCAT), Physical Fitness, and General Instructor for the department.
"He grew up here in Lenoir and Caldwell County. Martin could have went anywhere in the state to work in law enforcement, but he chose to come home," Chief Phelps said. "He chose to come back to the community he had grown up in and have a purpose in his community. It's my honor to recognize him as the Post Officer of the Year."
Sgt. Crisp thanked the Post, the Council, and his fellow officers for the recognition.
"I don't know if there's enough room in here for my head now with the way Chief introduced me," Sgt. Crisp said. "I'm really honored for this award. I'm very proud of my military history. I'm very proud to be a police officer here for Lenoir, but more so, I'm proud to be a husband and a dad, and I'm very blessed to have them here. Thank you very much."
Post Commander Eurto then recognized Firefighter of the Year Lt. Scott Brawley and asked Chief Hair to say a few words.
Chief Hair said that Lt. Brawley works to help the Fire Department and the community in many different ways, and he never wants credit or recognition.
"Lt. Brawley is the type of person that department heads dream of employing," Chief Hair said. "He is absolutely the most selfless person that I have ever encountered. His work ethic and attitude is outstanding. He never complains about anything, is very appreciative for everything he receives and performs every aspect of his job to the fullest just because it needs to be done."
Chief Hair said that Lt. Brawley assists with fire truck and vehicle maintenance and repair, is the lead technician for the department's Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) maintenance, is a member of the department's honor guard, oversees the concessions, and volunteers readily to mentor new firefighters. Lt. Brawley was also instrumental in remodeling the kitchen at Fire Station 2. He serves as a mentor with the Communities in School Program, is a bus driver for the school system, and along with his wife, helps organize field trips and fundraisers to help under privileged children. Lt. Brawley has helped coach youth baseball for years in the King's Creek Community.
Lt. Brawley joined the Fire Department full-time in March 2011 and was promoted to Lieutenant in May 2018.
"For all this, and because he does not seek recognition, we have selected Lt. Scott Brawley to be this year's American Legion Firefighter of the Year and to give him the recognition he deserves," Chief Hair said. "Hopefully, he knows how much he is appreciated by our department and especially me. Congratulations Lt. Brawley."
Lt. Brawley said he appreciated the recognition, but he wanted to thank all his fellow firefighters, too.
"We're a team here, we're all a team, so there's no way I could do the stuff I do without the guys being involved with me," Lt. Brawley said. "I'm lucky. I've had good people to work with. I don't want to take all the credit, because I couldn't do any of this without the rest of the guys. I do appreciate it, and I'm deeply honored. It means a lot. Thank you."
Lt. Brawley also thanked his wife for her support.
"There's no way I could do this without her," Lt. Brawley said. "She gives up a lot of us time, so I can do things I need to do. Without her, I couldn't do any of it."
Dysart-Kendall American Legion Post 29 recognized Lieutenant Scott Brawley as Firefighter of the Year and Sergeant Martin Crisp as Police Officer of the Year during the regular City Council meeting last night, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. From left: Mayor Pro Tem Crissy Thomas, Post 29 Member Henry "Woody" Smith, Post 29 member Wayne Mihelich, Post 29 Commander Irv Eurto, Councilman Ike Perkins, Fire Chief Ken Hair, Councilman Todd Perdue, Lt. Scott Brawley, Councilman Ralph Prestwood, Sgt. Martin Crisp, Councilman Kent Greer, Mayor Joe Gibbons, Councilman David Stevens, Police Chief Brent Phelps, City Manager Scott Hildebran, Councilman Jonathan Beal, and Post 29 member Mike Mizak.
Fire Chief Ken Hair, right, presents the Firefighter of the Year Award to Lt. Scott Brawley, left.
Sgt. Martin Crisp, center, speaks to Council after receiving the Police Officer of the Year Award Tuesday night, Aug. 16, from Dysart-Kendall American Legion Post 29.