Locust Police Dept. recognizes 2022 Citizen of the Year

LOCUST — At the Locust City Council meeting last week, the Locust Police Department officially recognized Travis McKinney — a loss prevention associate at the city’s Walmart — as the department’s selection for 2022 Citizen of the Year.

“Congratulations, Travis, on a well and very long-deserved honor,” the LPD announced. “We appreciate the job you do and for representing the very best of the City of Locust!”

The second-annual award honors a Locust citizen or citizen associated with the city that “has performed exemplary deeds or services for their city or their fellow citizens, and/or exhibits a strong sense of selflessness, caring, and responsibility.”

Locust Police Chief Jeff Shew released a public statement on the award selection: “Over the last nine and a half years, Travis has shown a tremendous ability to read behavior and body language, identify those engaged in criminal activity, and an outstanding visual recall of previously unidentified suspects who return to the business to commit additional crimes.”

In the first eleven months of 2022, McKinney was involved as the loss prevention investigator in 134 property crime reports at the Locust Walmart. Of those reports, 110 of them resulted in an arrest or other positive clearance, which is equal to an 82.1% positive clearance rate.

“This level of clearance has remained consistent throughout Mr. McKinney’s tenure with the constant in that stretch being Travis’ abilities as an investigator, his contributions to department investigations, and the relationships and partnerships he has established with Locust officers,” Shew continued. “The extremely efficient job that Mr. McKinney does daily and his dedication to his role mitigating loss to the business assists the Locust Police Department greatly in bringing criminals to justice and in sending a very strong message opposing any type of criminal activity in Locust.”

Last year, Autumn Huneycutt — a then-first-grade student at Locust Elementary — was awarded the inaugural Citizen of the Year award.

Huneycutt was honored for her efforts in selling many of her own toys at a yard sale to help raise money for the “Shop with a Cop” program that pairs officers with children to purchase them presents during the holidays. Additionally, she donated her unsold toys to West Stanly Christian Ministries to distribute.

The Locust Police Department’s 2023 Citizen of the Year will be announced during the first Locust City Council meeting of 2024.