Did you know that the Best of Denton County awards includes a category for Best Police Officer? It does! This year, it was 45-year-old Winston Edmondson who received the distinction for the most outstanding guy in blue.
Edmondson’s service itself is anything but usual. He’s only worn the uniform for slightly more than two years, barely placing him beyond rookie status. He didn’t decide to enter law enforcement until after his fortieth birthday — he and his 23-year-old son Christian are the first and only father/son team in Texas to graduate the police academy at the same time.
And his collaring this achievement is also anything but usual — he serves with the Lake Dallas Police Department, which has between 15 and 18 officers serving a population under 10,000 people. So how did a relatively new officer in a small department garner the votes to be named Best Police Officer in Denton County?
All it takes is a single sit-down talk with the well-spoken, kind-eyed man who easily flashes a warm and welcoming smile to understand the honor.
“I was always drawn to public service,” Edmondson said. “I earned my BA degree in government and politics. From there, I naturally thought entering the political arena would give me the best vehicle for serving people.”
Edmondson grew up with an urge to make things better. As an adult, friends and colleagues characterize him as “innovative, eager, and courteous.” Another colleague lauded his “entrepreneurial spirit” that seems to push him to grasp the basics of a situation and to then twist and turn circumstances in the most productive direction.
“I decided to run for mayor of Lewisville,” Edmondson continued. “I didn’t win, but my campaign led me directly to where I’m supposed to be. Part of my political platform was to make government more accessible to the citizens. I did a lot of visiting and talking with members of the Lewisville Police Department as part of my research.”
He learned more and more about the officers and the challenges they face. “I saw how directly they impact the community. I found myself thinking this would be a fantastic role for me to pursue. I knew, without a doubt, that I’d found my place — finally.”
Edmondson was born in the United States, but his parents are from Jamaica. He didn’t learn until later that law enforcement is part of his inheritance, through his grandfather who was a Jamaican officer. His mom never thought to mention it.
Christian, Edmondson’s son, was a junior in college in Kansas and a recognized basketball star. The two discussed careers as police officers.
Christian marched forward, made contacts, toured the Flower Mound police department, and spoke with officers about their work with the community. He was hired by FMPD in 2020 and was scheduled for the Tarrant County College’s Law Enforcement Academy.
Edmondson needed to work fast. He jumped into action, applied to the Academy for the same starting date and the same class. He was told it was doubtful it would work the way he wanted, but somehow it did. He paid his own way, and he and Christian graduated together.
“I interviewed with Lake Dallas,” Edmondson said, “and it was perfect. It’s small, which means I get to do and to learn more things.
“It’s true that I’m older than the average starting police officer, but I bring a lot of experiences to the job. It’s those experiences that make me the officer I am. I’ve never felt so fulfilled in my life,” he said.
“I talk to people with empathy and understanding because, in many cases, I know where they’re coming from. I want to use a natural approach when dealing with people, and to call on everything within me to not be reactive to situations. My goal is to always deescalate, if possible. I take the words ‘protect and serve’ very literally.” Edmondson is also an excellent example of believing it’s never too late to find your true purpose in life.
And that is why Winston Edmondson is the 2023 Best of Denton County Police Officer.