Tulsa Police and Fire Officers Honored for Above and Beyond Service to Community

GTR Media Group photo
AWARD RECIPIENTS AND LEADERSHIP: This year’s Above and Beyond award winners with Tulsa and Rotarian leadership include, from left, George B. Hamilton Special Award recipient Lt. Chris Witt, Tulsa Police Department; 2021 Above and Beyond Awards Firefighter of the Year Nick Swainston; Fire Chief Michael Baker; Rotarian Above and Beyond Awards Committee Co-Chairs Rob Berry and Monica Martin; Tim Colwell Legacy Awards recipient Officer Aurash Zarkeshan; Tulsa Mayor G. T, Bynum; Police Chief Wendell Franklin; 2021 Above and Beyond Awards Police Officer of the Year Officer Sean Terrell and 2020 Above and Beyond Awards Police Officer of the Year Lt. Jennifer Murphy.

The Rotary Club of Tulsa recently held its 14th annual Above and Beyond Awards honoring Tulsa’s Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year at First United Methodist Church.
The awards acknowledge these public servants for outstanding acts of character, commitment and compassion to both their profession and the community.
Nominated by their peers, the award recipients have gone above and beyond by serving the community and exemplifying the values reflected in the Rotary Four-Way test (one of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics). In addition, two new special awards were presented this year.
Mayor G.T. Bynum, members of the Above and Beyond committee, last year’s Above and Beyond recipients Firefigher Xavier McNac and Police Lieutenant Jennifer Murphy, and representatives from the Tulsa Fire and Tulsa Police departments were in attendance. Lori Fullbright from the News on Six was the master of ceremonies.
Fire Chief Michael Baker and Rotary Club President Paul Bauman presented the E. Stanley Hawkins Firefighter of the Year award to  Nickolas Swainston.
Police Chief Wendell Franklin and Rotary President Paul Bauman presented the Police Officer of the Year award to Sean Terrell. In addition to an Above and Beyond pin, ribbon and trophy, each recipient received $3,000 donated to his favorite charity, plus dinner and an overnight stay at Osage Hotel and Casino.
The George Hamilton Special Award was presented to Police Lieutenant Chris Witt. A new special award was introduced, the Tim Colwell Legacy Award. It was posthumously named in honor of Rotarian Tim Colwell, who in 2018 introduced the idea that the club should create an annual program to recognize the public service heroes who protect our community with distinction and honor.
The first recipient of the Tim Colwell Legacy Award was Sergeant Craig Johnson who was fatally shot in the line of duty last June. The second Tim Colwell Legacy Award was presented to Police Officer Aurash Zarkeshan. While conducting a traffic stop in June, 2020, he and Sgt. Johnson sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso.
Due to the pandemic, only participants in the program and a handful of special guests were at the event.