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Jail lieutenant wins statewide award

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Karen Anderson

Lt. Karen Anderson walks to the medical ward of the McLennan County Jail on Tuesday. Local officials recognized Anderson on Tuesday after she won a Detention Officer of the Year award from the Texas Jail Association.

Local officials recognized a 23-year veteran of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday for being named the Texas Jail Association's Detention Officer of the Year for professional service.

McLennan County commissioners recognized Lt. Karen Anderson for the award she received last month during an annual Texas Jail Association conference in Austin. The award is given to one detention officer each year from among more than 200 jails in the state.

"I like to come to work everyday, I like deadlines, I like to work hard, and I like to make the captain look good and make the sheriff look good," Anderson said. "Being in the spotlight is not something I like, but I am very honored to get this award."

Jail administrator and McLennan County Sheriff's Office Capt. Ricky Armstrong nominated Anderson early this year for her attention to detail and dedication to training jail staff, implementing policy updates, and managing inmate commissary and visits.

Armstrong, who also sits on the board of directors for the Texas Jail Association, said Anderson's recognition hits close to home because he was the last McLennan County officer awarded the honor, in 1994 when he was a shift sergeant.

County Commissioner Ben Perry announced a formal proclamation of Anderson's award in front of the commissioners court and several jail administrators. Perry, who also sits on the statewide jail board of directors, said having another jail administrator recognized is an example of high standards in McLennan County.

"It is extremely impressive, and I couldn't be prouder. Captain Armstrong has become an active part of the Texas Jail Association and become active in being a part of the discussion of jail standards," Perry said. "For one of our employees to be honored as someone with the professional service award, I just could not be prouder."

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Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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