An Abilene native who played a significant role in breaking up a bank robbery last year has been named police officer of the year by the Irving Police Department.
Ryan Turner, who graduated from Abilene High in 2003, began working for Irving police soon after earning a criminal justice degree at Hardin-Simmons University in 2007.
According to a citation read at the March 31 ceremony, Turner was selected for his outstanding performance of duties in the patrol section in one of the busiest beats in the city.
?He created positive contacts with residents and business owners, while taking care of the calls for service in his area,? according to the police department.
Some of the highlights of his career have included an armed robbery call at a Bank of America, where Turner quickly located the suspects? vehicle. According to police reports, ?A lengthy car and foot chase ensued, ending with the two suspects taken into custody. The individuals were suspected in 15 previous take-over style bank robberies in the Metroplex.?
Turner was also responsible for the arrest of three people for the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance after receiving a tip about possible narcotic activity at an apartment complex.
He also was credited for quickly recognizing a vehicle suspected in a homicide case. Turner stopped the vehicle and took the driver, who was covered in blood, into custody, according to the citation.
Irving police Lt. Dennis Norton said, ?Officer Turner doesn?t have a lot of down time because he is consistently working his beat from all different aspects. He has a thorough knowledge of his assigned area and is familiar with the criminal element; making attempts to target known offenders during his shift. He has the ability to be observant and knows what action to take when called upon to do so. He wants to be a part of and has taken ownership of our shift?s Crime Reduction Initiative program, volunteering on a regular basis.?
His parents are Keith and Eduwem Turner, of Abilene, and Margaret and Joe Boren of Cedar Park. He is married to Jessica Turner, who holds a 2008 degree in criminal justice from HSU. They have a new-born daughter, Addyson.
Grandparents are Jack and Nelva Turner of Abilene and Dr. and Mrs. Robert Sledge of Abilene. Jack Turner is a well-known Abilene and Taylor County figure who has served in many public roles including Taylor County commissioner. Sledge is distinguished professor of history emeritus at McMurry University. Ryan is a 2003 graduate of Abilene High School.
Information for this story was provided by a Hardin-Simmons news release.