U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent Bryan Burnett is the first to admit he gets embarrassed easily.
It is a well-known fact among his colleagues, which is why the Thomasville Police Department in North Carolina thought it would be a good idea to throw a surprise ceremony for him Jan. 30, honoring the HSI Winston-Salem special agent with a “Dedicated Service Award.”
“I was surprised [to receive the award] because they told me there was a search warrant operation they were going to conduct and needed my assistance,” Burnett said. “That’s why in the picture you’ll see me with jeans on.”
Burnett, who has been with HSI for five years, works with Thomasville about three times a week assisting in cases ranging from human trafficking to narcotics. He has been a key piece to the success of the department and was recognized for his dedication and collective years of service.
Thomasville Police Chief Jeff Insley told the Lexington (N.C.) Dispatch: “Having partners like Agent Burnett with us is priceless and is a valuable tool to help us help our community.”
The relationship between HSI and local law enforcement is invaluable as the local agencies often jumpstart investigations before they are ultimately taken to the federal level. On the other hand, HSI brings experience and provides resources that the local departments don’t have access to.
Aside from the work itself, working together, especially in smaller departments, creates a family atmosphere. Burnett doesn’t take that for granted.