The Oceanside Police Department named Police Officer Matt Lyons as the 2012 Officer of the Year.
Lyons was selected because of his diligence and proactive focus within the City of Oceanside’s “Crown Heights Neighborhood,” where prior to his assignment to this beat; there was a spike in gang activity to include gang related homicides and a series of shootings.
Over the past 2012 year, Officer Lyons took it upon himself to take extra steps both on and off duty to assure residents in this community of the department’s commitment to reduce crime and the fear of crime in their neighborhood.
These steps included but were not limited to meeting with the staff of North County Lifeline at the Americanization School on a regular basis, spending quality time with community youth, serving as a neighborhood ambassador, and encompassing the community policing philosophy to build partnerships and immediately address crime issues swiftly and fairly. Taking the fight against crime directly to those who would intimidate and criminalize the citizens of this historic community, Lyons routinely went out on foot and made direct contact with known gang members with long criminal records and demanded compliance with the law and ensured the neighborhood was safe from their bullying.
Lyons’s supervisory staff routinely received numerous calls throughout the year, along with letters from various community groups, citizens, and non-profit organizations commending him for immediately addressing their problems and taking the streets back on behalf of the citizens. Lyons demonstrated a genuine concern for those who live, work, and visit the City of Oceanside.
The Officer of the Year award recognizes the Police Officer who has exceeded the duty requirements expected of his or her position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement. Lyons has embodied that and provided exemplary service to the community in a manner worthy of this recognition.
Lyons, who comes from a large family of “Irish Cops,” is a retired Special Agent of the U.S. Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (USMC C.I.D.) and has received multiple awards from that agency for his work. Lyons is also currently a Criminal Justice Instructor with the Central Texas College Satellite Campus at the nearby Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, where he has been teaching since 1998. Lyons is a 12 veteran of the Oceanside Police Department.