JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Each year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) honor public servants who perform outstanding service in their field and to their community. This year, Johnson City Police Officer Ashley Ellenburg was awarded the VFW National Law Enforcement Public Servant Citation for the State of Tennessee.

The honor recognizes Ellenburg’s commitment to her duties and the excellence she demonstrates in performing her role.

Ellenburg has been a member of the JCPD since 2013. She told News Channel 11 that she loves working in Johnson City and enjoys training the next generation of police officers.

“Johnson City is a wonderful place,” Ellenburg said. “The people here are so supportive of us. The Johnson City Police Department is a great place to work, and we’re always hiring. I’m a field training officer myself, and I would love to help new officers get started here.”

Lieutenant Mike Hollis of the Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) nominated her for the award because of her positive contribution to the community. Ellenburg is part of the JCPD’s Crisis Intervention Team, Bike Team and Traffic Homicide Team.

“She also does a junior police academy,” Hollis said.

Hollis added that Ellenburg participates and leads several other voluntary activities within the department.

“She does this beyond her regular schedule,” Hollis said. “She’s always a joy to work with. She comes with a good attitude. She’s one of our shining stars in the police department.”

Hollis noted in his nomination that Ellenburg answered more than 630 calls for service last year, four of which resulted in felony arrests and 31 in misdemeanor arrests.

Ellenburg received her award along with others in different fields who were recognized for their contributions.

Ellenburg said that hopefully winning this award can inspire more women to join the police department.

“My hope is that we have more female officers apply,” she said. “We’re always hiring. So the more new faces we can see in, the more people that can get interested in police work.”

“Officer Ellenburg’s recognition at the state level is a testimony to the Johnson City Police Department’s commitment to excellence, teamwork, and integrity,” said Interim Police Chief Billy Church. “We’re certainly proud of her dedication to our department and our community.”