The Reynoldsburg Police Department honored a number of officers and a dispatcher last week with awards for their hard work.
Chief Jim O'Neill gave out the awards Feb. 18 at the beginning of the Reynoldsburg City Council meeting.
Detective Tye Downard was named Officer of the Year; officer Dan Downing received the DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Ace Award; Sgt. Joe Vincent was named Supervisor of the Year; dispatcher Michele Severance was named Civilian of the Year; officer James Triplett was recognized for distinguished service and Sgt. Mark Moser was honored for community service.
Lt. Ron Wright assisted in giving out the awards. He said different criteria go into each award and officers and employees are typically nominated by a peer or supervisor.
"We have a five-person award committee that reviews the nominations and puts in their recommendations, then I tally those up and give recommendations to the chief," he said. "The chief ultimately decides who gets the awards."
Wright said an entire shift nominated Severance for her award.
"We like to recognize officers and employees who are doing very well and show outstanding service to the community," he said. "We like to display who our best officers are and I think they deserve the recognition."
O'Neill said Downard performed his duties as a detective in an exemplary manner throughout 2013, working narcotics investigations.
"He worked countless hours with the Franklin County/DEA Drug Task Force while maintaining his narcotics investigations in the city of Reynoldsburg," O'Neill said. "His efforts have produced seizures of over $639,497 in drug money, countless pounds of illegal narcotics and multiple handguns and assault rifles used by suspects to protect their drug operations."
He said Downard also is a department trainer who logged additional hours to train other officers and "was a good mentor and source of information for our newer officers to learn current trends with narcotics investigations."
O'Neill said Downing apprehended more than 78 impaired drivers "and contributed to the goal of creating a safer community through traffic enforcement."
Vincent's Supervisor of the Year award was the result of not only his exemplary service but his "re-invention" of the Reynoldsburg Police Reserve Division, O'Neill said.
"He tirelessly worked to coordinate and oversee the hiring process of 15 new reserve officers to produce a 16-officer unit," O'Neill said. "Sgt. Vincent monitors the progress of each of the reserve officers as they conduct field and departmental training. He also tracks the reserve budget to ensure each officer is properly equipped to perform their duties."
O'Neill said the reserve unit volunteered a total of 2,530.25 hours throughout 2013, supporting full-time staff and crime prevention.
As a dispatcher, Severance handled approximately 80 calls for service per shift with little to no clerical support, O'Neill said.
"She consistently placed the safety of the officers on the street as her primary duty as she ensured all calls were accurately documented and dispatched," he said. "She was instrumental in the creation of the 99P code to alert officers of potential concealed-carry weapon permits and also developed an efficient method to process domestic violence warrants and packets."
He said officer Triplett received the Distinguished Service Award for his "exceptional service in 2013" as the first Reynoldsburg Division of Police Motor Unit officer.
"He worked tirelessly on all complaints received, resulting in 772 traffic citations and 180 traffic warnings to curb poor driving behaviors and promote safer streets for citizens to commute," O'Neill said. "He also coordinated and participated in numerous community events to re-establish a positive image of the police department to citizens."
Moser's Community Service Award was the result of his coordination and participation in more than 38 community-related events, O'Neill said.
"His supervision and deployment of the Motor Unit and Bicycle Patrol Unit imparted a significant impact in the areas of traffic safety, crime prevention and traffic education with the community," O'Neill said.