In Police Chief Ken Albano's eyes, Terry Mishler epitomizes a top notch law enforcement officer.
"He's a guy who's gone above and beyond to help this department," said Albano, the man responsible for Mishler's nomination among many for the 8th annual Fran Barford Award Public Service Award.
All three were on hand recently at the Temple Terrace Woman's Club's annual holiday luncheon and installation of officers, when Barford, a longtime member of the club and the first and only female mayor in the city's history, announced Mishler as recipient of the prestigious award named in her honor.
To qualify, nominees must have distinguished themselves in public service to the community as either past or present city employees, elected officials or as persons who were appointed by city officials to serve on one or more of its boards. He or she is not required to live in Temple Terrace.
Prior to his retirement in August, Mishler spent 35 years with the Temple Terrace Police Department. He began in 1975 and worked his way through the ranks to captain of the patrol division, the equivalent of today's deputy police chief, before his brief break in 2002. When he returned a year later he took on the role of crime prevention officer, a civilian position he held for 10 years.
"This is just such a privilege for me because I've known him a long time and he is a wonderful man," said Barford, who in 2005 moved to Anna Maria Island, where she also served as the town's mayor.
"He's so engaging and his heart is just so kind," she said.
Sporting a mile-wide smile, Mishler expressed how much the award meant to him.
"I loved my job and in some ways I wish I were doing it again," he said. "But I've never been a person who wanted or needed a pat on the back. I did my job the best I could just because I wanted to do good work."
Jo Ann Woodard, this year's chairwoman of the Fran Barford award selection committee, said among all the nominees Mishler was the most impressive.
"His dedication and his love for this community is just amazing," she said.