Brassell to be honored as TJA Detention Officer of the Year


Gonzales County Jail Corrections Officer Cpl. William Brassell will be honored as the Detention Officer of the Year – Valor at the Texas Jail Association’s 38th annual conference next month in San Marcos, Sheriff Keith Schmidt told county commissioners last week.

Brassell and his family will be honored TJA guests at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos on May 6-10 and Brassell will receive the award during the banquet on Thursday, May 9.

On May 20, 2023, at about 3:40 p.m., Brassell responded to a fight in progress between two males inmates at the inmate visitation center at the Gonzales County Jail, Schmidt said. Upon arriving, Brassell observed one of the inmates actively stabbing the other with a homemade shank the inmate had fashioned from a sharpened toothbrush.

“Corporal Brassell quickly intervened, and without regard for his own life, acted swiftly and placed himself between the inmates. He was able to subdue (the attacker) and then wait for help and they got the inmate handcuffed,” Schmidt said. “Because of that, we submitted this and several other documents to the Texas Jail Association for the Detention Officer of the Year for Valor, and we were notified on Thursday (April 4) that he had won the award. We’re real proud of him for winning this.”

Nominations had to be received by TJA by March 1, 2024, in order to be eligible and included a nomination packet with supporting documentation including offense reports, sworn statements, newspaper accounts (if any) and letters of recommendation.

According to the Texas Jail Association, the purpose of their annual awards is to recognize exceptional service provided by an individual in the field of county jail operations. There are two awards for Detention Officer of the Year:

• Detention Officer of the Year – Professional Service: This award is given to an individual working in county corrections who has demonstrated a commitment to professional service at his/her agency by making outstanding contributions to county corrections that exceed basic ability and expected performance.

• Detention Officer of the Year – Valor: This award is given to an individual working in county corrections who demonstrated courage or valor in the face of danger while in the performance of his/her official duties.

Schmidt also informed county commissioners the jail is back to “within an officer of being fully staffed, so we are almost back to where we need to be.”