It's hard to render some folks speechless, but it happened Thursday afternoon.
When Chad Alexander, Tift County Tax Commissioner and past Tifton Sertoma Club president, stood before the club and welcomed the day's guest speaker, Tifton Police Department's Lt. Steve Hyman, he had a surprise for Hyman – Hyman has been named the club's 2013 recipient of its Service to Mankind Award.
Surprise was written all over Hyman's face when he heard his name called. He attended the meeting under the pretense that he was the guest speaker for the day, and had no idea he was receiving the award.
"I appreciate y'all thinking enough of me and the things we do. I say 'we' because I do coach, I do these other things, but if these guys at the police department weren't toting the load, I wouldn't be able to do these things. I'd be out there with them. It's a thing where we all do it together," Hyman said after a standing ovation.
"You are in a good, good group of people who really serve the community. This award goes to people who do the work, but don't want the recognition. That's why we do this," said Alexander.
Hyman has served in various capacities with the TPD for the past 30 years, including patrol officer, field detective and field training officers supervisor, and he is currently working in community relations, as well as training, and supervises the Crime Suppression Unit. He has been honored as Police Officer of the Year in 1990, 1996, 2000 and 2011. He was recently reappointed a voting member of Georgia Police Officer Training Standards Council by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
In addition to his work protecting and serving as a police officer, Hyman is a chairman of the Tift County Recreation Department Advisory Committee, vice president of Proud Loving Individuals Giving a Helping hand to Teens (PLIGHT) and president of the Georgia Crime Prevention Association. He has served as a member of Tiftarea YMCA Board, president of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and past chair of Tift County Commission on Children and Youth.
Hyman earned an associate's degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Georgia Command College. He has one daughter, Lauren Carter Hyman, 7, and a son, Nicholas Erskine, 10.
To contact editor Angye Morrison, call 382-4321.