Best Cop - 2009
Houston Police Officer Julia Christina Oliver
There are dozens of ways to measure a police officer's performance. How many cases closed, how many tickets written — or, as in the case of our winner for Best Cop, Houston Police Officer Julia Christina Oliver, the more intangible quality of personal courage. Oliver has been with HPD for more than 25 years, serving 23 of them as a male officer. After quietly starting hormone therapy as part of male-to-female gender reassignment, Oliver was thrust into the national spotlight when her situation became public. HPD brass were uniformly supportive, but her fellow officers and the public had more varied reactions, from uninterested to overtly hostile. Oliver, however, remained professional, dedicated to protecting the citizens of Houston and even managing to keep her sense of humor intact.