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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

August 2023

Texans Caring for Texans Honors TDCJ Employees for Service to the State

Eleven standout Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) employees were recognized August 3 in the Texans Caring for Texans awards ceremony at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.

The mission of Texans Caring for Texans is to honor professional service by state employees and increase awareness of the exemplary service provided by the honorees to the citizens of the State of Texas.

Lori Martins, co-chair of the Texans Caring for Texans Task Force, spoke about the importance of the annual ceremony.

“The task force works all year to plan a quality event to show the honorees that their work matters and that we are proud of their accomplishments. Many times, the nominations go above their exemplary service and include information about the employee’s service in their local community,” Martin said. “State employees are some of the most caring people, and we are honored to recognize them.”

Since its establishment in 1996, state employees in the Texas Panhandle are invited to select an employee or team of employees to receive a Texans Caring for Texans award each year.

Among the TDCJ honorees were Capt. Ricardo Pozos, Capt. Kristi Gonzalez, Lt. Sherry Spells-Washington, Sgt. April Velasquez, Sgt. Patricia Flowers, and Officer Kayla Butler of the Clements Unit; Sgt. Ashley Hatchett of the John Montford Unit; Major Juan Solis of the Dalhart Unit; Officer Lisa Mears of the Jordan Unit; Sgt. Irma Gonzalez of Region V; and Officer Kyle Davies of the Roach Unit.

"I am truly inspired by the exceptional dedication displayed by our employees at TDCJ. You have gone above and beyond in your commitment to our mission, showing a remarkable level of dedication, resilience, and courage. Your efforts are not only noticed, but deeply valued,” TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier said. “Your willingness to go the extra mile embodies the spirit of service that drives our agency forward. Each of your efforts are making a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve and the communities we represent.”