The inaugural Brookhaven Police Department Ball and Awards Ceremony was held Oct. 13, honoring officers and raising funds for the local police foundation. A surprise donation of $250,000 from Hess Bomberger of Gainesville, Ga., was also announced at the event.

Maria Jones, center, accepts the department’s first-ever “Officer of the Year” award from Deputy Chief Juan Grullon, left, and Chief Gary Yandura. (Phil Mosier)

Maria Jones was named Brookhaven’s first-ever “Officer of the Year.” Distinguished Service Meritorious Awards went to Officers Carlos Nino and Moises Vargas. Meritorious Awards were given to Officers Jacob Kissel and Mathew Murry.

Chief Gary Yandura led the event, along with J.D. Clockadale, head of the Brookhaven Police Foundation. Mayor John Ernst and City Councilmembers Joe Gebbia, Linley Jones and John Park were among those in attendance.

The event was held at the DoubleTree hotel on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in Perimeter Center.

Anyone interested in donating to the foundation, which supports police programs and officers’ families, can contact Clockadale at

Photos by Phil Mosier.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.