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403rd Defender named Ocean Springs Police Officer of the Year 2022

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Christopher Carranza
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. Cody Gill, 403rd Security Forces Squadron self-assessment program manager, recently received the Ocean Springs Police Officer of the Year Award for 2022.

“Officer Gill is an extremely hard worker with a lot of potential to be a great leader,” said OSPD Police Chief Mark Dunston. “He’s the kind of guy that jumps into situations when others need help, takes extra shifts, and is dependable.”

Police Officer of the Year and of the Quarter are selected by the police chief based on peer reviews and supervisor letter of recommendation. Gill won officer of the first and third quarters before being nominated and winning officer of the year by several of his fellow officers and supervisors.

“I absolutely credit his military bearing and training, in addition to his character and work ethic. That all helped him receive numerous reviews and letters of recommendation to win the award,” said Dunston. “Everyone enjoys working with Cody; he’s a real team player, and he shows it through his work.”

Gill started his career with OSPD in 2019 as a part-time police officer while on active duty at the 81st SFS. After a deployment in 2020, he decided to switch careers, and transitioned to full-time police officer and Reserve Citizen Airman with the 403rd SFS.

“I originally joined the Air Force in 2013 for two selfish reasons,” said Gill. “First, to obtain my bachelor’s degree for free. Second, to check the ‘military experience’ box on a resume. I then could get out of the military completely because I completed those two goals. As I went on through my career, I found fulfillment in my Air Force career, so I continue serving my country in the Reserve.”

The 403rd SFS is responsible for defending air bases around the globe in support of the combatant commands, providing law enforcement on those bases, and combat arms training.

“The Air Force and Security Forces helped instill values and characteristics that made me who I am today,” said Gill.  “I believe my strong work ethic, leadership skills, public speaking ability, stoicism, and dedication came from all the training I received as a Security Forces member.”

In addition to his SF experience, Gill said he credits OSPD leadership for his award.  

“Receiving this award has been one of the biggest highlights of my career at OSPD,” said Gill. “I tried my hardest to show up to work with a great attitude each shift. I also believe my supervisors were a key component in this award. I had a good understanding of basic law enforcement standards but had zero knowledge on Mississippi law. My leaders at the OSPD trained, guided, and help me thrive, ultimately leading me to receiving this award.”