PPD's first Officer's Ball a success
The badges were replaced with ball gowns and tuxes last night during the Prescott Police Department’s first ever Police Officer’s Ball held at The Barn at Willow Oak Acres in Prescott. The department hosted the event to raise funds for their community activities like Blue Santa, Cakes with Cops, the Widows and Widowers Luncheon, and similar events in which the PPD provides a meal, gifts, and fellowship for local citizens. 

PPD Chief Ann Jordan shared with SWARK.Today the department’s motivation for turning this year’s fundraiser into “An Enchanted Evening” full of glitz and glamour. “We wanted to bring something different to Prescott,” Jordan said. “This allows people the chance to dress up for a night of dancing, good food, good fellowship, and raising money for a good cause.”

It would seem the PPD hit their mark since guests appeared delighted while chatting, eating, perusing items of the silent auction, or taking a quick pic at the photo op stage. The meal was contributed by Maxwell Hamilton, Angie Butler, and Ko-Fields, while the black-and-white decor was completed by Dorica Michele Moss-Craven. Two guests were even treated to prize gifts for being judged the best dressed of the night: Satarra Williams and Brian Jordan. The ball held an ambience that was both classy and lovely, especially during the main event that honored local law enforcement officers. 

Lynn Vanderveer was the Master of Ceremonies who announced the sponsors of the silent auction and introduced Chief Jordan who gave a warm welcome to guests. “We appreciate you guys coming out and supporting us,” Jordan said. “We have big things we want to do for our community.” 

Darren Neal was the guest speaker for the night who shared a story about his first meeting with Chief Jordan back in the late 1990s while he was with the Arkansas State Police and she was a jailer at the Nevada County Jail. He said after meeting her that night his thoughts were “She’s going to make it… and she did. She went from being a jailer to patrolmen to Chief of Police right here in Prescott.” Neal also said that Jordan has the distinction of being the second female police officer in Nevada county history, the first was his wife. “I’m proud of them,” Neal said. He concluded his speech by asking guests to join him in supporting Jordan and the Prescott Police Department.

The highlight of the night though consisted of a tribute to a fallen PPD officer, followed by the awards portion of the ceremony. Chief Jordan awarded a plaque to the family of PPD Officer Edward Virden who was killed in the line of duty in 1958. “He’s one of us,” she said. “He should never be forgotten.” Accepting the award were a few family memebrs, including his daughters Sandra Hulan and Brenda Burton Samuel. Hulan shared appreciation to the department for honoring her late father, in addition to the service law enforcement provides to the community each and every day. “Every time you walk out the back door, you don’t know if you are coming back. It’s the ultimate sacrifice,” Hulan said. “We appreciate you so much.” 

Mayor Terry Oliver took the podium to issue the awards, but before doing so he had some praise for Chief Jordan and the department. “I’ve been mayor for 14 years. Appointing Ann Jordan as Chief of Police is one of my better moves,” he said. Then he shared praise for the department's policy on community policing and listed the numerous events and activities they hold throughout the year to assist fellow citizens. Oliver began the awards by honoring Alicia Page, the PPD Admin Assistant, with a plaque for exemplifying the PPD values and being a tremendous asset to the department. K-9 Officer Mae McKinnon was honored with the Most Improved Award, and Officer Cason Lemon was awarded the Hero Award. 

The ball concluded with the announcement of the silent auction winners and then the dancing portion of the event. Some stayed to show off a few dance moves while decked out in their fancy finery while others decided to call it a night and head home with a plaque in hand or auction prize. The timing of guests’ departures may have varied, but what was consistent throughout the latter part of the evening was that each guest of the PPD Officer’s Ball seemed to leave with a smile and fond memories of a joyous and meaningful event, a new tradition they can look forward to attending again next year.