DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – “People see we just want to help people. I genuinely love people,” Dallas Police Officer Aaron Rucker told CBS 11, the day after being named DPD’s Officer of the Year.

“I’m a firm believer to be a servant, be humble, to meet people where they are. If they’re calling you, it’s because they need you,” said Rucker, who has been with the department for 14 years.

“When I talk to people, I say, ‘how can I help you’ not ‘what do you want, what’s going on, how can I help you’?”

Dallas Police Officer Aaron Rucker (CBS 11)

Officer Rucker is part of DPD’s Right Care Team.

He, along with Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics and a Parkland Hospital clinical social worker, respond to mental health crisis calls.

“He is compassionate, the guy to assess the needs of our citizens to determine the care they need,” said Dallas Police Major Paul Junger. “It’s his enthusiasm, his compassion, it’s just who he is.”

Rucker has dealt with stuttering since childhood, but that challenge doesn’t define him.

He also has a Masters degree in social work and says policing shouldn’t be defined by officers who abuse their authority and lose public confidence.

“It’s disheartening. It makes me strive harder,” he said. “My job is to let you see, let my heart and actions speak for my work.”

Officer Rucker’s father was also a Dallas Police officer for 30 years.

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