A Lawrence police officer and firefighter were honored Sunday afternoon for their service to the community and commitment to their professions.
Officer Jim Phillips of the Lawrence Police Department received the Reverence for Law award, and firefighter Nate Jamison of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical was recognized with the Excellence in Fire Prevention and Medical Services award.
The awards are given annually by the Lawrence chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, said Dean Brown, chapter president.
Phillips, a 30-year veteran of the police department, said he was quite surprised when he found out he'd been selected to receive the award.
"There are about 135 sworn officers in the department, and to be selected among all of them is special," Phillips said.
Phillips, who has worked the midnight shift his entire career, said the relationships he's formed with colleagues have made the job worth it.
Jamison is a somewhat less seasoned member of the fire department, but it seemed to be the consensus Sunday that he's destined for big things.
Fire & Medical Chief Mark Bradford, in recognizing Jamison's performance, said he believed Jamison was destined to wear the bugle insignia of a fire chief one day.
Jamison, who has been with the department full time for three years, said he was shocked when he found out he was to get the award - and still is.
Bradford said he put out a call for nominations for the award and received several responses, all of which suggested Jamison as the person most suitable for the award.
Jamison said the recognition was a terrific honor.
"I'm honored just to be on the department; it's an honor to receive the award," he said.
About 20 members of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical attended the ceremony, which included a buffet lunch, as did 15 or so police officers. The two groups exchanged good-natured jabs at each other, but agreed they'd done a lot to become better public safety responders for the community.
The Ladies Auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Eagles also recognized its volunteer of the year at the Sunday ceremony. Debbie Farthing, who was responsible for preparing all of the food at the ceremony, was recognized for her service.