WOCCISD receive recognition with OCSO Citizen Meritorious Service Award

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, February 11, 2021

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By Dawn Burleigh

Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) implemented and awarded the Citizen Meritorious Service Award on Thursday to Superintendent West Orange-Cove CISD Dr. Rickie R. Harris, Transportation Director Manuel Vera and Lead Mechanic Higinio Gonzales for assisting OCSO with transporting inmates during Hurricane Laura.

The Citizen Meritorious Service Award was established to recognize those civilians who go above and beyond in their community. The award is given to a citizen who is not a sworn officer who has shown integrity, dedication, and devotion to other citizens or law enforcement personnel.

OCSO recognized three individuals in the community who exemplify these characteristics in Orange County.

Sheriff Jimmy Lane Mooney, Chief Keith Reneau, and Capt. David Lampman were there to present the awards.

Harris, Vera and Gonzales were also given a challenge coin from the Sheriff and the SWAT Team Commander.

Harris was also presented with a wreath.

“This is for backing the blue,” Mooney said. “You helped us in our hour of need and we appreciate it.”

During Hurricane Laura the West Orange-Cove ISD was crucial in the evacuation and transportation of the inmates from the Orange County Jail to other facilities in Texas.

“They bridged the gap between the school district and the Sheriff’s Office,” Mooney said. “They reached out to us and it was very much appreciated.”

Mooney added the assistance helped save lives.

Harris and his staff worked with the Sheriff’s Office and never complained when things were asked of them, according to a press release.

This was the first time the award has been issued from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to any citizen.