Marana Police Department Office Gerry Tinsley has been presented the Chief's Citation for Professional Excellence.
Before a large audience at last week's town council meeting, Chief Terry Tometich recognized Tinsley for her "exemplary contributions to the police department.
"I'm extremely happy and proud to be here this evening to honor one of Marana's finest," Tometich said. "I'm happy to see so many individuals from the school system tonight."
Among those in attendance were some of Tinsley's first students in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in Marana schools. Her husband David and their children were in attendance, too.
Tinsley had been a patrol officer in Benson and South Tucson before joining the Marana force. She was named a school resource officer in 1996.
"She established the trust needed to work in the academic environment, gaining the rapport with young students as well as with faculty and parents," Tometich said.
Tinsley moved to Marana Middle School in 2007, and "quickly ingrained herself into the framework of the school," introducing DARE and dealing with conflict resolution, bullying, peer pressure and the affects of alcohol and drug abuse. She was "able to retain the trust and respect of these now pre-teen and early teenage students by setting a strong foundation of positive interaction with the students, parents and school staff.
"Gerry became well-respected throughout the Marana Unified School District," Tometich said. People have walked up to Tinsley with their families, and said "Officer Tinsley is responsible for me and my children being drug free."
Tinsley was visibly moved as the audience clapped its congratulations.
"Good job, Gerry," one audience member said. "We love you, Gerry," said another.
"You've done a great job for our community working with young people," Mayor Ed Honea said.
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity for fulfilling the dream that I've had," she said.
Tinsley is now a patrol officer with the MPD.