COURTHOUSE – Officer M.E. Shawkat, a Landstown High School and Old Dominion University graduate who has served the police department for three years, was recognized during the First Precinct Citizens Advisory Committee meeting this past month as the precinct officer of the quarter.
Shawkat, who works the evening shift, was recognized for work in the second quarter of this year, including an incident in which he administered Narcan to someone who had overdosed on heroin, turning the person over to rescue officials who continued lifesaving efforts. He then led an investigation that resulted in four arrests after securing a search warrant.
That case marked the first time the officer had written a warrant, but it was the third or fourth time he has administered Narcan during his law enforcement career.
In May, Shawkat and a colleague earned the department’s Life Saving Award for a 2016 incident in which they saved the lives of two people who had overdosed.
“It seems like every week we’re responding to a heroin overdose or an opioid overdose,” he said.
Capt. David Squires, commanding officer of the First Precinct, said Shawkat also was recognized for his versatility and effort in taking on responsibility. Squires said the young officer, among other accomplishments, made eight arrests, issued 29 summonses and generated 15 field contacts — a means of passing along information to aid investigative efforts.
“This is an officer that is looking to make an impact,” he said.
Squires said Shawkat’s efforts in the overdose case that led to arrests in a narcotics case resulted in the recovery of various drugs and showed initiative beyond his lifesaving effort, which might be considered “a win unto itself.”
It also was an example of the department’s desire to develop officers who can take on a wide range of responsibilities in their duties and accomplish them effectively.
“He did it all in one event,” Squires said. “He literally did everything we’d want him to do from soup to nuts.”
Shawkat was born in Egypt, and he moved to the U.S. when he was eight, living in New York and later Newport News before his family came to Virginia Beach. He is married with a young daughter. In addition to his criminal justice degree from Old Dominion University, he earned an associate’s degree in political science from Tidewater Community College.
During an interview on Thursday, Sept. 7, he said serving as a police officer is a lifelong dream come true.
“All my life, it’s one of things I always had the passion for,” Shawkat said. “I love it. It’s awesome. Getting out there, interacting with people. … And then there’s some cases where you save someone’s life.”
He said there is value in contacts with the public, whether it is helping during a domestic situation or making a positive contact with a young person.
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