December 3, 2021 – Three dedicated public servants from the City of Midland have been honored as the 2021 Carl and Esther Gerstacker Police and Firefighter of the Year award winners. Midland Police Department officers Tyler Hollingsworth and Chuck Brown were named the City’s 2021 Police Officers of the Year, while Midland Fire Department firefighter Justin Fox was honored as the 2021 Firefighter of the Year.
Officer Tyler Hollingsworth
Officer Chuck Brown
A second-time Officer of the Year winner, Officer Hollingsworth began his career with the Midland Police Department (MPD) in 2015 after having previously served with the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office. Ofc. Hollingsworth has served as a field training officer and member of the Midland County Dive Team and the MPD Technology Committee and served as accreditation manager to achieve MPD’s accreditation with the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police’s Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. Officer Brown joined MPD in 2014 from the Saginaw Tribal Police Department, where he spent 15 years and was a sergeant at the time of his departure. He is currently a field training officer with MPD.
Officers Hollingsworth and Brown were nominated for their professional and heroic actions while responding to a domestic call on December 24, 2020. During the incident, an explosion occurred that caused a large fire and fatal injuries to the suspect. Both officers were also injured in the incident while trying to secure the scene and provide care to the suspect.
Firefighter Justin Fox
Firefighter Fox has served on the Midland Fire Department since 2008. He currently serves as an acting fire truck operator, acting lieutenant, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) technician, and emergency medical technician (EMT) and is one of MFD’s live fire training instructors. He has also held leadership roles in the Midland Professional Firefighters Local 1315 and is currently the Northern Trustee for the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union. Recently, Firefighter Fox attended training to become a peer support person for firefighters experiencing behavioral and/or mental health issues, giving him tools and resources to help firefighters in distress get treatment options they need.
This year’s winners were honored at a small ceremony at the Midland Country Club on Tuesday, October 19 and will be recognized at the City Council meeting on Monday, December 6 at 7 p.m. Awards are funded through and given by the Midland Area Community Foundation. The selection process and awards ceremony are coordinated annually by the Midland Exchange Club.