Home News Local News Honor the Badge upholds good role models

Honor the Badge upholds good role models

From the left Chaves County Deputy Charles Drake stands as Sheriff Britt Snyder prepares to present him an award Wednesday at the Honor The Badge Ceremony in the Chaves County Administration Building. Drake was one of four first responders celebrated during Honor the Badge. The ceremony is put on each year by Character Counts! – an organization that seeks to promote character in schools and other institutions within the community – and is sponsored by Pioneer Bank. (Alex Ross Photo)

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Four first responders were publicly recognized for the character they exhibit on the job, in the community and with their peers at the annual Honor the Badge ceremony Wednesday night in the Chaves County Administrative Building.

Honor the Badge is a part of Character Counts! week Oct. 15 to 19, an annual event sponsored by Pioneer Bank and put on by Character Counts! Chaves County, a group that seeks to promote good character based on the six pillars of Good Character: caring, citizenship, fairness, responsibility, respect and trustworthiness — and recognize those who demonstrate it in schools and other institutions.

Martin Thorsted, a senior patrolman with the New Mexico State Police, Agent Gerald Juarez of the Chaves County Metropolitan Drug Task Force, Deputy Charles Drake of the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and Eric Morales, a firefighter with the Roswell Fire Department, were this year’s nominees.

Honorees were presented with a pen, a travel mug, a plaque and received a one-night stay at the Burned Well Ranch in Chaves County.

Nominations for Honor the Badge are submitted from local fire, police and sheriff’s departments with all nominations reviewed by a committee made up of people in the community, according to a press release.

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Thorsted said after the ceremony he was a little surprised to have been nominated. He said his captain doesn’t usually say who he will nominate, but there are certain individuals he likes to recognize.

He says officers tend to shy away from the limelight and just want to do their jobs.

“We love our job, we love what we do and sometimes when we get recognized for it, it makes us a little uncomfortable,” he said.

Tim Fuller, director of Character Counts! and a volunteer with the Midway Fire Department, told the audience Honor the Badge is a chance to express gratitude for being good role models.

“This is a great opportunity for us to stand up and say thank you for being a great role model in doing what you do to help the community out because you are truly living the six pillars of character, and without you, our community would not be what it is,” he said.

Chaves County Sheriff Britt Snyder said good character is an important attribute for first responders and those in law enforcement.

“How we live our lives in law enforcement and in firefighting is based on reputation, and that is all about your character,” he said.

Snyder, who has been connected with Character Counts! Chaves County and will step down as Chaves County Sheriff after Election Day, was also recognized for his service, and presented with the items given to all other honorees.

Fuller said without Snyder’s help in organizing the drive to get agencies to nominate individuals, Honor the Badge would not be possible.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.