Mesquite, TX – August 27, 2020 – During August the City of Mesquite recognizes the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees all American women the right to vote, by highlighting important female leaders of our community’s past and present. During the last week of August, the City featured the following four employees.
Officer Jolyn Lopez
Jolyn Lopez was hired by the Mesquite Police Department as a patrol officer in 2005. Since then she has served the Mesquite community in several different roles. She has worked as a field training officer for probationary employees. In 2008, she became a criminal investigator in financial crimes. She went on to become a sex crimes and crimes against children investigator where she gathered case information, obtained confessions, testified before the Grand Jury and before trial juries. And then she became a school resource officer at the Mesquite Academy. In 2014, she earned her Master Police Officer Certification in 2014.
In November 2019, Officer Lopez was selected to be a crime prevention specialist where she is responsible for implementing and monitoring crime prevention programs in North Mesquite. She gives lectures, audiovisual presentations and serves on committees concerning crime prevention in the City of Mesquite. She is a liaison between the community and the police department, assists with the Citizen’s Police Academy and is an advisor for the Police Explorer’s program.
Throughout her 15-year career Officer Lopez has received numerous honors, awards, and personal commendations. Additionally, she is a certified instructor and currently teaches the Cultural Diversity course and the Multiculturalism and Human Relations course to police officers.
Assistant City Attorney Detra Hill
Assistant City Attorney Detra Hill was hired by the City of Mesquite in 2014. As the Assistant City Attorney and prosecutor for the City of Mesquite, Detra is responsible for prosecuting all cases that come through the Mesquite Municipal Court. This includes, doing trials, working with complainants, defendants, attorneys and Court staff. She serves as the legal advisor to the Mesquite Housing Board. In a normal day she always helps the City Attorney with other important projects that affect the City of Mesquite. Most recently, she helped develop new policies regarding the coronavirus pandemic and is serving on the City’s ADA compliance team.
Firefighter and Paramedic Samantha Criswell
Samantha Criswell has been a firefighter and paramedic with the Mesquite Police Department for 19 years. While being a firefighter is her primary job, it’s only one of the ways she continues to serve the Mesquite community. Recently, Criswell also completed nursing school and she now works part time as a nurse in the emergency room at Dallas Regional Medical Center in Mesquite.
In her free time, Criswell normally enjoys volunteering. However, as a result of COVID-19, her volunteer opportunities have changed this year. Normally, she volunteers as a counselor at Muscular Dystrophy Camp. She has started volunteering with Care Van, a mobile shot clinic that serves children who are between the ages of two months and 18 years old. She is also a faithful blood donor and she is looking forward to volunteering at the upcoming Addressing Mesquite in October.
Virginia Mundt, Director of Library Services
Virginia Mundt was first hired by the Mesquite Public Library in the 1980’s to work part-time at the North Branch Library. She then worked as the Children’s Librarian at the Main Library until 1989. In 2011, the City of Mesquite was lucky to have Mundt return and work as the Public Services Supervisor before she was promoted to Director of Library Services five years ago.
As a supervisor and now director, she has been involved with many of the library programs around Mesquite, including providing children’s services at Christmas in the Park and Breakfast with the Bunny, participating in the Rodeo Parade, creating award-winning Taste and Trade booths, volunteering on Addressing Mesquite Day and many other activities.
Mundt and her library staff continue to go above and beyond for the Mesquite community. For the past four years, the Mesquite Public Library has received the Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award from the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association. In 2019, only 53 libraries out of 571 Texas public library systems earned this prestigious honor, which means the library ranks in the top 10% of all public libraries in the State of Texas.