Four members of the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office were recognized Oct. 6 during the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association annual awards banquet in Midwest City.
Dispatch Lt. Cindy White and Sgt. Maurice James both received meritorious service awards, while Sgt. David Cates was recognized by the Sheriffs Association as their 2023 Deputy of the Year.
On behalf of the Deputy Justin Baxter family, Sheriff Chris West accepted the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association “Sheriff’s Cross.”
White was nominated for and received her Meritorious Service Award (MSA) in recognition of her dedication to duty, superior leadership, and supervisory skills as demonstrated on a daily basis, and especially during times of increased demands on the dispatch staff.
Sgt. James was nominated for, and received, his Meritorious Service Award for his exceptional work in the areas of narcotics, criminal interdictions and auto theft.
James spent an entire career in law enforcement and retired from Oklahoma City Police Department with over 30 years before coming to work at the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Cates, who is assigned to the Investigations Division of the Sheriff’s Office, received the coveted Oklahoma Sheriffs Association’s “Deputy of the Year” award for his exceptional work in the field of Internet Crimes Against Children.
Not only does Sgt. Cates work tirelessly at locating and apprehending child pedophiles, but he serves the Sheriff’s Office and citizens of Canadian County as a member of the Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Team, coordinator of the Sheriff’s Office Peer Support Team and as a member of the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard – which he also helps coordinate.
Deputy Baxter passed away on Sept. 8, 2022, after experiencing a heart attack only hours after getting off work.
Baxter had completed his shift, and while off duty at his residence in Geary, began to experience shortness of breath and chest pains. He was taken by ambulance to INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital in Yukon, where he died.
It was determined that Baxter’s death was duty related as he had experienced an extremely demanding and difficult workload on the day of his heart attack.
“I am extremely proud of all our people, and thankful for their dedication to duty and the commitment they make each and every day to the citizens of Canadian County,” Sheriff West said. “I was very humbled to accept the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association’s ‘Sheriff’s Cross’ on behalf of Deputy Justin Baxter’s family.”
At the conclusion of awards portion of the banquet, Sheriff West (the OSA past president) administered the oath of office to 2023-24 OSA President Damon Devereaux – the Logan County sheriff.