Nathan McMurry Thomas Fund

Nathan Thomas Memorial Awards from the Portland Police Bureau

The Nathan Thomas Memorial award was presented by the Chief's Forum, a policy advisory group to the Portland Police Bureau's Chief of Police. This was the Forum's highest award, and was given annually for an act of outstanding performance by which the nominee demonstrated in great degree exceptional communicative accomplishments which further the goals of community policing and/or show acts of selflessness, personal courage and devotion to community.

In 2009 the Nathan Thomas Memorial Award became one of the awards given at the bi-annual Portland Police Bureau Awards Ceremony. This honor is "awarded to any individual for demonstrating exceptional communicative accomplishments that further the goals of Community Policing and/or shown acts of selflessness, personal courage, and devotion to the community." The award is given with the Nathan Thomas Distinguished Service Medal.

1995 Sgt. Karl McDade and Carol Sweet
won the first Nathan Thomas award for development of Crisis Intervention Training program
1996 Officer Victoria Wade
for family support program
1997 Officer Keith Morse
for exceptional communication skills which resulted in the safe outcome for a suicidal subject
1998 Captain Larry Findling
for exceptional work in communications and training
1999 Sharon McCormack
for work on Chief's Forum and community relationships
2000 Officer Julia Rico
2001 Officer Tashia Hager
for her exceptional communication skills, teamwork with other officers and use of safe tactics which resulted in the safe outcome for a suicidal subject, the subject's roommates and her fellow officers. Presented April 1, 2002.
2002 Detective Terry Wagner
for her unquestionable integrity and sense of volunteerism that exemplifies the values of community policing, teamwork and communication. Detective Wagner's excellence in investigating crimes of violence against women and children has led to the apprehension and conviction of countless criminals. Her role as a detective, educator, and negotiator has improved the partnership between the Police Bureau and our community. Presented May 19, 2003.
2003 Officer Michael Castlio
for his work with the homeless population in Southeast Portland. Presented December 13, 2004.
2004 Officer Paul Ware
for preventing a distraught man with a butcher knife from doing harm to himself and others in the Senate Chambers of the Oregon State Capitol. Presented December 12, 2005.
2005 Officer Dan Thompson
for preventing a distraught man with a gun from doing harm to himself or others. Officer Thompson used his skills to gain the man's trust and, as a result, ensured a safe outcome for all involved. Awarded December 11, 2006.
2006 Officer James Nett
for preventing a distraught and suicidal man from doing harm to himself and others. Officer Nett drew on his experience and training in crisis intervention to resolve this incident, presented December 10, 2007.
2009 Officer Betty Woodward
for continued devotion and dedication to the people of Portland – and particularly to the mentally ill. The following was read at the award ceremony:

You may have seen the picture in the Oregonian newspaper on October 23, 2008: A suicidal man, standing on the railing of the Burnside Bridge, bending slightly as if to hear what the officer is saying. Portland Police Officer Betty Woodward is the officer in the picture, shown extending her right hand to the man. In the end, Officer Woodward talked the man down, and saved him from certain danger.

When calls of individuals experiencing a mental crisis come into Central Precinct, Officer Woodward is often times called to respond. Officer Woodward's continued devotion and dedication to the people of Portland – and particularly to the mentally ill – is an example of her work ethic. She has, on numerous occasions and sometimes at great personal risk, talked individuals out of harming themselves or others, and has developed a relationship with mental health professionals to help her better understand those going through a crisis.

Officer Woodward embodies the definition of this award day after day, call after call, and to the betterment of those who need it the most. For your dedication and compassion, Officer Betty Woodward, you are hereby awarded the Nathan Thomas Memorial Award.