Three Borger police officers received special recognition for their work in a recent homicide investigation in the City of Borger.
Sgt. Jerod Carr, Lt. Jason Whisler, and Officer Marcel Hajjar received commendation from Police Chief Jimmy Adams during the Borger City Council meeting Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Chief Adams said an incident happened in Borger that put the community on edge. During the investigation that followed, he said there were officers who went above and beyond in the line of duty.
On Thursday, April 21, 2011, Borger police officers responded to the scene of what would end up being the murder of Lois Kimbrell, 97. In a commendation letter written by Lt. Whisler, Chief Adams described the incident as a “senseless tragedy.”
Several officers worked hard on the case in order to find out exactly what happened.
“It is historically at these times that professionals are truly born. They were instrumental in being the voice of Lois Kimbrell in her eternal silence,” Chief Adams read.
Officer Hajjar was assigned to go door-to-door to ask Kimbrell’s neighbors if they saw or heard anything out of the ordinary. One neighbor, Greg Felan, had a way about him that settled uneasy with Officer Hajjar.
“A sign of an officer is one who is tuned into these gut feelings,” he read. “Some people call it intuition, but police officers have gut feelings.”
Chief Adams said such an officer has the competency to explore and respond to these situations. Officer Hajjar made observations of Felan and reported this encounter. This would be the only initial factor that helped steer the investigating team in the right direction, he said.
Days after this initial contact, Felan became defensive with police and halted his apparent cooperation. Sgt. Jerod Carr intervened in the case and was able to bond with Felan. Chief Adams said for Sgt. Carr to maintain the appearance of bonding with him was a task not to be taken lightly.
“This action takes an emotional toll on a person that no one should experience. This selfless act proved successful and brought a suspected killer to the door of the police department for a voluntary interrogation,” he read.
He said if this had not been accomplished, this case could have lingered without resolve potentially for weeks or longer, which would have felt like years to the family and community, who were yearning for resolution.
While these officers were being singled out for their work in the investigation, there were many officers who played a vital part and came together as a family, Chief Adams said. The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Texas Rangers from Hereford, Amarillo, Pampa, Dumas, and Lubbock were quick to render their full resources. The Fritch and Panhandle Police Departments also offered assistance.
All branches of the Borger Police Department, including dispatchers and animal control, were there when needed as well.
Chief Adams said it can’t be put into words the appreciation that makes his job so easy whenever he has dedicated men and women on his force. Brandon Strope was the lead detective in the case, and worked hard to put things together. He extended his appreciation to all who were involved.
“I would like to personally say thank you to each one of you,” he said.
He commended Sgt. Carr, Lt. Whisler, and Officer Hajjar for a job well done.
Mayor Jeff Brain said the City of Borger is very grateful to all of the officers involved for their work in this case.