Dennis Shores and his family were thinking they’d like to go see a professional basketball game and figured it would involve the Oklahoma City Thunder since they were the closest.

That plan changed on Thursday when Shores, a patrol sergeant with the Alma Police Department, was given four tickets to see the Dallas Mavericks play in Dallas.

The gift of basketball tickets was part of a presentation in which Shores was honored by the Alma Police Department for his service to the force and the community. The tickets were given by Consolidated Printing of Van Buren, which gave a similar gift to a member of the Van Buren Police Department earlier this month.

Alma Police Chief Russell White said Shores was a unanimous selection to receive honors from the city.

“I went to the supervisors and told them we wanted to pick someone,” he said. “I told them I had someone in mind and asked them who they thought it should be and everybody in there came up with the same name. It wasn’t even a matter of discussion.”

Shores, who started as a reserve police officer for the city of Mountainburg in 1991, will celebrate 14 years as an Alma police officer on Feb. 8.

“It honors me to be picked for this and to be given this gift to be able to share with my family. It’s nice to be able to do something like this with them for all the times I’m away from them,” he said following Thursday’s presentation. “We had just been talking the week before (learning of the award) how we’d been to an NFL game and Major League Baseball game but we’d never been to a pro basketball game. So we were maybe thinking about going to the closest one, which would be Oklahoma City, and then this came up.”

Dick Teague and John Kell were on hand to present the certificate for the tickets on behalf of Consolidated Printing.

“We’re honored to be able to give back to the community,” said Kell, “and especially to be here to honor someone who contributes so much to the community.”

“Here’s the thing about Dennis,” White explained, “he’s the guy who after all these years still wakes up happy to be a policeman. He works and treats people that way, like he’s happy to be doing this job and happy to be helping them, which he is. He’s also the guy that if you need something – or even if you don’t – Dennis is going to come help you whether he’s on duty or off duty.”

Shores said, “I’m greatly honored and very appreciative of my peers that they thought enough of me to think I deserved this. It’s very humbling.”