Last year, Officer William Callaway was a teacher, supervisor, comedian, counselor, cheerleader, patrol officer and sandwich artist, just to name a few of the hats he wore.
All those roles earned Callaway, 43, the honor of 2014 Officer of the Year for the Hurst police department. He received the award earlier this year.
“I was selected as an acting corporal, a leadership role that I had never had before in the department,” Callaway said one recent afternoon. “And I believe I did a good job.”
That is borne out by numerous nomination letters from fellow officers.
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“Officer Callaway has always been an excellent officer and has now shown that he can also be an excellent supervisor,” one officer wrote. “He will probably not be an officer for much longer since he will more than likely be promoted.”
Born in Dallas, Callaway was raised in Pleasant Grove, a Dallas County suburb about five miles southeast of Dallas.
His entire law enforcement career has been in Hurst. He was a dispatcher and jailer with the department for five years before he became a patrol officer 15 years ago.
In those years, he’s been a SWAT officer, a crime scene specialist, a patrol training officer, a public service officer and an instructor in areas such as physical confrontations.
“William Callaway has been a leader among his peers,” said Police Chief Steve Moore in a recent interview. “He has taken on leadership roles while involved in active tactical situations and as a senior patrol officer.”
Moore said that Callaway was one of the first officers that came to mind when he needed an interim patrol corporal for a couple of months.
“I believe he is a true leader who has the support and respect of other members of the department, “ Moore said.
Callaway said he became an officer to make a difference in a community.
“It sounds like a cliche, but I became a police officer to help people,” Callaway said. “And I plan to do this as long as the good Lord lets me.”
Fellow officers don’t seem to have a problem with that.
“He was in the field helping his fellow officer. He was helping with logging in evidence, processing paperwork, booking people in,” one officer wrote for Callaway’s nomination. “ Honestly, I think Officer Callaway even made me a sandwich one time ... nothing gourmet, but edible!”