VFW Awards Officer of the Year to Rusty Jacksland

April 24, 2017

Every year, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1349 honors a law enforcement officer as Officer of the Year. This year's awardee is Officer Ruston Jacksland of Prattville Police Department. His award is for his service and accomplishments during 2016.

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Mayor Bill Gillespie reading Officer Rusty Jacksland's award to him.

Officer Ruston Jacksland is a lifelong resident of the City of Prattville. Jacksland graduated from Prattville High School in 1997. He is married to Kim and they have two children, Sam and Silas. Rusty has been ordained as an Elder at Riverside Presbyterian Church in Prattville and he is a dedicated servant in the ministry of the church.

Officer Ruston Jacksland was hired on November 6, 2000 by Prattville Police Department for the position of jailer. Rusty demonstrated hard work and great dedication to the department as a jailer. He was selected as a police officer in June 2001. Jacksland attend the Police Academy in Selma in August of 2001. He received the marksmanship award from the academy. Since graduating the academy, Rusty has served on all shifts in the patrol division, served as a bicycle patrol officer, and also served as a Narcotics Investigator. Officer Jacksland has continued to show great dedication to the department and has become a respected senior officer. Jacksland is always respectful and courteous when speaking with the citizens of our city. He has received numerous commendations from members of our community for his polite and professional service.

As noted above, Rusty is a dedicated and respected senior officer with 16 years of service. His experience and training are evident in his job performance. Jacksland has assisted in the apprehension of multiple burglary suspects this year (2016). On May 23, 2016, Officer Jacksland was responding to a suspicious activity call in the area of Highway 14 and Highway 82. He observed a vehicle matching the given description passing him on Selma Highway. Jacksland attempted to stop the vehicle, but it fled from  him onto Doster Street. He gave chase and the vehicle wrecked at the end of Doster Street. All of the suspects ran from the vehicle. Jacksland remained calm, relayed the information to other units, which resulted in all three suspects being apprehended a short distance away. Officer Jacksland's actions resulted in the recovery of a stolen vehicle, as well as helping to solve multiple burglary cases that had occurred within Autauga County.

On November 16, 2016, officers were dispatched to Seasons Drive in reference to a burglary in progress. The victim was on the phone with 911 reporting that two suspects had left her residence in a white Chevrolet Trailblazer. The two unknown suspects broke into her shed and took tools. Due to Officer Jacksland's quick thinking and attention to detail, he was able to locate the vehicle at the intersection of Hwy 31 and McQueen Smith Road. Jacksland attempted to stop the vehicle, but it turned south on Hwy 31 and fled at a high rate of speed. He gave chase and followed the suspected vehicle into Montgomery. The pursuit reached speeds of 95 mph and turned through streets with which Jacksland was unfamiliar. He remained calm and continued to report his location. Montgomery Police units were able to locate him and provide assistance. The pursuit lasted 17 minutes and resulted in the arrest of both burglary suspects. The capture of the suspects also solved multiple burglaries that had been previously committed in Prattville.

 After the devastating tornado that struck Prattville in 2008, Rusty was quoted in a news article as saying, "Becoming a police officer is one of my greatest accomplishments and I look forward to every day I get to serve the City of Prattville and the Citizens." Jacksland's dedication and love for our city is evident. He has done an outstanding job this year in helping to solve major crimes against our citizens.

We are proud to call him our own! Congratulations, Officer Jacksland! This award was well-deserved.

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Councilor Marcus Jackson, Mayor Bill Gillespie, Assistant Chief Diane Thomas, Officer Rusty Jacksland, VFW Commander Dave Harris, and Quartermaster Perry Mann.