The start of a new year can bring a lot of change in a person's life, but for one local, a new chapter will begin as January 1 rolls around. After sixteen years, six months and 25 days, Patricia Broadwell--better known as "Treet"--will leave her varied post at the Sweetwater Police Department (SPD) to enter a new stage in life: retirement.
Her Present Roles
Concurrently, Broadwell has served the SPD as the Administrative Assistant, the Terminal Agency Coordinator (TAC) and SubAgency Coordinator for the State as Associate Trainer (SAGY), the Custodian of the Records, the Certified Public Information Officer and holds a Master Certification for Telecommunication Operator.
Broadwell is a graduate of Sul Ross University, having obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences. However, several of her roles at the police department required her to continue training to keep her at the top of her respective fields.
As Telecommunication Operator, Broadwell initially had to undergo 40 hours of training with recertification taking place every two years. Her Associate Training position also required her to be recertified on a two-year basis.
As a non-civil service employee of the police department, Broadwell also had to complete 40 hours of continuing education each year. In addition, her position as TAC/SAGY gave her an opportunity to attend an annual conference along with attending the Criminal Justice Information System conference for continued education in Texas Incident Base System Reporting.
But on top of the continuing education, Broadwell still had a slew of responsibilities to meet within the local police department. She would review officers' reports and submit Public Information Act requests and briefs to the Attorney General for opinions. Once the opinion was reviewed by the Opinion Committee, she would prepare a response to the requesters.
Additionally, she would provide military background requests, record requests for insurance companies, and as Custodian of Records she would conduct research and respond to subpoenas.
Broadwell also recertified police officer and telecommunication operators for their TLETS (Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunication System) and their TCIC (Texas Crime Information Center)/NCIC (National Crime Information Center) certifications. She would validate entries for the Law Enforcement Support Division - Crime Records Service in Austin for all the records entered into the TCIC and NCIC, as well as prepare the agency for CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) and TCIC/NCIC audits.
Furthermore, Broadwell would occasionally fill in as the Telecommunication Officer, prepare requested statistics for the Chief and/or the Lieutenant, and would complete any other duties which were assigned or requested.
Her Past Recollections
Not only did Broadwell take part in a lot of duties, but she saw several changes in her sixteen years of service. As most professionals, she had to take part in technology updates in computers and software, a new filing system and changes in responsibilities, duties and personnel.
From a personal standpoint, Broadwell recalled some memories. She wanted to understand what a suspect endures when an officer has to use a certain degree of force, in which she volunteered to be "tased"--an incident she calls her "personal 'worst' memory."
But the most memorable event in her career occurred around eighteen months ago, when a four-year-old boy was thrown out of a car and left for dead onto a cactus field on the side of the interstate by his own father, on June 28, 2011.
"Upon this little boy being found and brought to the Police Department," Broadwell recollected, "Telecommunications Operator Cory Stroman and I offered the little boy a piece of gum if he would tell us his name, and he said 'Angel'."
She remembered the little boy as being "bewildered," and Broadwell picked him up and held him in her lap to check little Angel's body. She noticed cactus spines on his body, and after being taken to the hospital by the local EMS, she would learn that he had over 500 cactus spines which were surgically removed.
"I will never forget Angel and the courage he displayed," she said. "I was able to visit him after the removal of those cactus spines in the hospital, and it was amazing to see his precious smile."
"It was my honor and privilege, along with other employees of the Police Department, EMS, and hospital staff to have had the opportunity to offer him some comfort," stated Broadwell.
But before she leaves, she offers her thanks to retired Sweetwater Police Chief Jim Kelley for hiring her and for being good to her and her family. Broadwell is also thankful to Lieutenant Randy Hanes for having an open door and for his continued prayers.
"There are no words to express my appreciation to both of these men for the encouragement, knowledge, and support they provided over the years, as well as the rest of my 'PD Family'," she said. Part of that family includes Lester Cavitt, who she thanks for offering continued prayers for her as well.
She also hopes to leave a positive impact within the police department and the community, where she was "a good employee with a good work ethic...courteous, dependable, followed procedures as presented by law and requirement to the best of my ability, forgiving, professional, responsible, and a team player."
Her Plans for Retirement
While she's learned a lot on a professional level, Broadwell has acquired some traits that she will take with her in this new chapter. Among them are confidence, courage, empathy, friendship, loyalty, patience, trust and understanding--along with a thankfulness for the life which God has blessed her.
As she stares retirement in the face, Broadwell's thoughts on this new journey offer a sense of relief. She is eager to break free from the "daily grind" to take part in a "life of leisure" where she can "enjoy family and life."
"I can engage in my work of choice, look after my health, and spend time with my family and grandchildren," she explained.
Broadwell's family includes her parents, Charlie Broadwell and the late R.E. Broadwell; her siblings Connie Jamison, Debbie Veal and the late Richard Broadwell; and her siblings-in-law Vicki Broadwell and David Veal.
She will also get to spend time with her daughter Tracee Smith and her husband Mitch from San Angelo and her three grandchildren, Chase, Kenzee and Kaimee.
Other family members include her nephew Brant Broadwell and his wife Staci from Keller, Texas, and their sons Connor and Matthew; along with her other nephew Casey Broadwell, his wife Toni, and their son Cason from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
She might be leaving her work in law enforcement, but Broadwell will never forget the sacrifices they make. She asks everyone to pray for all law enforcement personnel and first responders and to show their appreciation to them.
"When you see a person in an armed service uniform, reach out your hand and thank them for their service. You will never know how much it means to them."