I truly believe Conway is the greatest city in the entire state of Arkansas. It is the best place to live, work and play, hands down. There are many reasons for that.
Each year, the Kiwanis Club of Conway salutes two of these reasons. We hold a special program to honor the Conway Police Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year. The honorees are not picked by the club, but chosen by their respective departments. The Kiwanis Club is simply proud to serve as a vehicle to give them a little well deserved recognition.
We recently had a very sobering reminder about how dangerous police work can be when officer Will McGary was killed in the line of duty. He will be the fourth Conway officer to have his name inscribed on the granite memorial in front of our police station for giving his life in service to our community. There is also one name on the Conway firefighters memorial a few blocks away.
It has become popular, and rightfully so, for strangers to approach members of the United States armed forces to offer them a “thank you for your service.”
I think it is just as appropriate to do the same to our local police officers and firefighters, as well as those working in third leg of the first responders stool, EMTs and paramedics. When we are looking to get out of harm’s way, these folks are right in the middle of it.
Conway’s police department and fire department are each over 100 strong. Men, and women, serving us everyday. Usually in ways that go unnoticed.
At our recent Kiwanis meetings, we were happy to notice Billy Carter and Gordon Ball, Conway’s firefighter and police officer of the year, respectively. After hearing introductions from both of their supervisors, it was easy to understand why these two were chosen.
So thank you, Billy and Gordon, for your service. And thank you to all of your fellow police officers, firefighters and EMTs/paramedics. It is people like you who help make Conway the absolute best city in all of Arkansas.
David Grimes is the Ward 1, Position 2 representative on the Conway City Council. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 269-0412.