American Legion names Officer of the Year

Sept. 6, 2010 at 4:06 a.m.

A Victoria police officer used a little personal history and a touch of Easter to earn Victoria's American Legion Post 166 Officer of the Year

Police Chief Bruce Ure nominated Officer Eric Poulton for the honor after Poulton started a community outreach program this year. Poulton won the honor last week.

As part of that program, Poulton and other officers gathered Easter baskets for kids stuck in the hospital over the holiday. They also delivered Easter baskets to kids in need who they regularly see on their beats.

"It was a great honor, a good feeling," Poulton said of being named Officer of the Year. "I didn't expect anything in return at all."

Poulton, 26, said he felt compelled to deliver Easter baskets to kids in the hospital because he was in and out of the hospital when he was younger.

"I still have a stuffed animal that I call 'hospital bear,'" Poulton said. "God knows if I went to the hospital now, I'd have to have it."

Poulton initially planned to just put together a few baskets himself, but eventually other officers and their wives got involved. Walmart also contributed to the project.

"I can't take all the credit for it," Poulton said. "The other guys' wives - they put them together. 'Cause if I did, who knows how it would look."

Richard Garcia, Sergeant-at-Arms of Post 166, said honoring law enforcement has been a long-standing tradition with the Legion.

"They do a fantastic job and at times are maybe putting their lives on the line to protect the community," Garcia said. "We feel honored when we do this."

The American Legion presented Poulton with a certificate and $100 reward.

Poulton plans on using that money to help fund a similar Christmas program, he said.



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