ODESSA, TX (KWES) - A standout officer was honored Monday by authorities for his compassion, work ethic and quick action, even while off duty.
Cpl. Roland M. Heyne, 34, was announced as the Odessa Police Department's "Officer of the Month" following a summer of efficient drug interdiction and community cooperation.
He made approximately 67 arrests between May and August, officials said, and seized more than 12 grams of methamphetamine and 7 grams of cocaine, in addition to "significant amounts" of marijuana, Xanax and Ritalin.
The police department recently received a letter from an appreciate citizen thanking officers, including Heyne, for exhibiting "genuine concern and [having the] ability to put citizens at ease," according to authorities.
"He takes pride in all aspects of police work, which is evident in his daily work ethic and interactions with citizen contacts of every situation and incident," supervisors said.
Heyne said he was "humbled" by the recognition and thanked community members for consistently aiding in police investigations.
"There has certainly been animosity [toward law enforcement personnel] in other cities, but we get a lot of support from the community here in Odessa," he said. "I couldn't do my job without the daily cooperation we get from citizens."
The "job" is more of a lifestyle, he admitted, explaining officers "are never really off duty."
Heyne witnessed a burglary in progress in June while taking his family out for ice cream. He immediately took action, despite being off the clock and out of uniform, and apprehended both suspects after chasing them down Dawn Avenue.
"It's a good thing that he saw and stopped it from escalating," a neighbor who witnessed the incident said. "I watched those two boys grow up... and I do hope [their arrests] are a wake-up call for them."
Authorities said Heyne handled the situation well and commended him for "being a compassionate officer when assisting citizens with various problems."