News Flash


Posted on: August 15, 2019

State Citizen Academy Picked Dawson Officer of the Year

Mark Dawson WEB

Police Officer Mark Dawson has served the City for 33 years – earning numerous honors over his career. Most recently he was caught totally by surprise to learn he was named 2019's “Officer of the Year" by the Texas Citizen Police Academy Alumni and Law Enforcement Annual Training organization. The surprise was because he was unaware his supervisor, Sgt. Wes Gerig, put him up for the award.

Mark has been “the rock” of the Plano Citizen’s Police Aademy (CPA) for the past 17 years. He’s taught over 1,200 people providing memorable experiences for all. Some of this duties include:

  • Developing Shoot-Don’t Shoot scenarios using simunitions (fake ammo)
  • Teaching the class gun safety while members wait to shoot the simunitions
  • Developing a ride-along program for CPA

Sgt. Gerig submitted compelling reasons for the state CPAs to choose Mark, “There is no way the department’s CPA would be what it is without Officer Dawson. He’s entertaining, a great Mark Dawson Ofc of Year 2019storyteller, friendly and he understands how important citizens are to the success of our department. I wish our officers could rotate and work with Officer Dawson. His enthusiasm for the community and PPD is demonstrated every day. He is absolutely the tip of the spear in the world of citizen’s police academies.”

“Our Academy alumni are the finest in the state,” says Dawson. Putting in over 15,000 volunteer hours annually, they do a great deal for the City:

  • Work the balloon festival lost kids booth
  • Man sky-watch towers around the City
  • Patrol the streets and parks on Segways
  • Enforce handicap parking laws and much more!

Mark, when asked why he became a peace officer, said, “I know it sounds corny but I became a police officer to help people who may not be able to help themselves. It is such a comforting thought to know that when a citizen has reached the end of their rope. And they have no one else, they can call 9-1-1 and we’ll do everything we can to make things right to protect them and often times comfort them. It is a HUGE responsibility that not everyone is cut out for. I am proud to serve the citizens of Plano. It’s an honor.”

Citizen’s Academy Alumni video:

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