Three Brownwood City Police officers shared top honors as outstanding law enforcement officers of the year, at the annual Crime Stoppers’ banquet Thursday.

Officer Johnny Jackson was at the banquet to accept his award, but duty called James Kidd and Fred Bastardo and they were not there to accept their awards.

The tradition for past banquets has been to have an officer nominated from state, county and city law enforcement officers, but this year, local Crime Stoppers President Jana Jackson told the 140 seated for the steak dinner banquet served at the Texas 4-H Center any officer from any department could nominate people within or from outside their own department.

Jackson, Kidd and Bastardo were nominated by their shift commander not only for the way they perform their police duties, but their dedication also as field training officers. According to the nomination letter Jana Jackson read, the three men “do what it takes, often volunteering time to help with training of new officers.”

Early police officer Johnny Brown was honored with a second award that Jana Jackson said was designed to be the “above and beyond” award. Brown was cited for taking the initiative and making the effort to raise funds to purchase and train Blazen, a drug-sniffing dog.

Through the teamwork of Brown and Blazen, said Jackson, hundreds of thousands of dollars in drugs and drug money has been confiscated.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Office received the third Crime Stoppers award, and that agency was lauded for having made the most arrests from Crime Stopper tips received as a result of the county’s “Top 10” criminal photographs being posted in the Bulletin.

But also, the sheriff’s department gave out two awards of its own. Sheriff’s Deputy Bobby Duvall talked about the complexity of budgeting the department within the county’s tight budget, but said one of the budget items — medical care for inmates in the jail — was a “runaway train” costing the county between $150,000 to $160,000 each year.

Dr. John Dunn, however, as a taxpayer and a doctor, had approached the sheriff’s department about a manageable medical care plan for the county.

Dunn serves as the jail doctor, accepting minimal pay, and has brought costs down tremendously, Duvall said.

“Dr. Dunn thinks outside of the box, and so far this year has saved the county more than $45,000.”

The final award of the night, also bestowed by the sheriff’s department, was given to Sheriff Bobby Grubbs.

In presenting that plaque, Sheriff’s Sgt. David Mercer said, “Sheriff Grubbs keeps a tight rein, but he takes care of his people. For your dedication, Sheriff, we’d like to offer you this to show our appreciation.”