The Harker Heights Police Department has announced that Sgt. Eugene Cuthbert, the 2018-19 Police Officer of the Year, will join Chief of Police Phil Gadd in receiving personal awards at the 100 Club of Texas 36th Annual Awards Banquet set for April 6 at the LINE Austin Hotel.
In an interoffice memo distributed March 1 within the HHPD, Gadd stated that Cuthbert is being awarded the Guardian Angel Award from the 100 Club of Central Texas, a 502 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides funding and emotional support to the families of first responders who have been critically wounded or have died in the line of duty.
Gadd had already been notified he would receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the 100 Club at the April 6 banquet.
Gadd told the Herald that Kathy Hicks nominated Cuthbert for the award on behalf of her husband, Clyde, who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident while in pursuit of a vehicle on June 30 of last year.
Cuthbert is one of three motorcycle officers on the force. Once he completed the motorcycle operator-training course, he began field training as a motorcycle officer andthat meant riding in close proximity with another experienced motorcycle officer. On June 30, Cuthbert was assigned to ride with Officer Clyde Hicks.
As Hicks and Cuthbert were conducting traffic enforcement, Hicks observed a traffic violation in the 100 block of Interstate 14. Hicks began his pursuit as the violator entered the turnaround lane at the FM 2410 bridge.
Cuthbert was close behind and observed that during the pursuit Hicks lost control of his motorcycle and was thrown to the surface of the access road to westbound Interstate 14.
Cuthbert took control of the situation by protecting Hicks from the traffic flow by stopping and routing vehicles away from the scene.
A nurse who witnessed the accident came to the aid of Hicks, who was still lying in the roadway, while Cuthbert cleared the way for Harker Heights EMS and other units to arrive at the scene.