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Freedom Award

Hickory Police Department receives national award

The Hickory Police Department is a recipient of a national award recognizing its effort to support employees who also serve as U.S. military service members.

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve, according to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s (ESGR) website.

The Hickory Police Department (HPD) was nominated by Hickory Police Lieutenant Andrew Robison who also serves in the Army Reserve as a Staff Sergeant. He returned to HPD earlier this year following a deployment.

“I was excited to nominate the Hickory Police Department for The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award while I was deployed last year to show my appreciation for its continued support of me and the other military service members at our department,” Robison said.

The Hickory Police Department was invited to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. to receive the award on August 30.

“We are humbled and honored to be named a recipient of the 2023 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award,” Hickory Police Chief Reed Baer said. “We at HPD are fortunate to work for a City that has always recognized and appreciated the military service of our coworkers.”

Robison comes from a family of service including his own father, and both of his grandfathers, who served in various branches of the U.S. military. “I too have always possessed this desire to serve, and I am proud to continue this legacy in both my careers in the Army Reserve and with the Hickory Police Department in Hickory, N.C.” he said.

Along with Robison, the Hickory Police Department has numerous veterans currently employed as officers, telecommunicators, and other positions at the department. HPD is grateful for their service, both for their country and their community.

“I am so thankful that they (HPD) go above and beyond to ease the burden of deployment on employees by having such a generous and pro-military service member policy as well as providing the flexibility needed to transition on and off active-duty orders,” Robison said. “They did everything they could to support me while I was away and they continue to be completely positive, encouraging, accommodating, and proud of my military service. I am very thankful and grateful for their love and support, and I could not ask for a better place to work as a military service member.”