Even after 11 years working for the Westerville Division of Police, secretary Pharol Kaufman says each day of her job is still different and enjoyable.

Even after 11 years working for the Westerville Division of Police, secretary Pharol Kaufman says each day of her job is still different and enjoyable.

Kaufman was recently selected as the Westerville City Employee of the Year. She was also the recipient of the 2007 Police Division Civilian of the Year award. Believing in the importance of every position within the city may have helped her win the awards, she said.

"Whether you're behind a desk, driving a city vehicle, pushing a broom, or behind a badge, I truly believe we all give our city the same level of service," Kaufman said. "All the city employees work to make Westerville a great place to live and work."

Kaufman began her career with the city in 1993 as a part-time employee in the finance department, according to community affairs coordinator Scott McAfee. When a full-time position as a patrol secretary opened in the police division in 1997, Kaufman applied and has been working there ever since. As a secretary in the patrol bureau, Kaufman provides support to one lieutenant, nine supervisors and 45 patrol officers.

Before her time with the city, Kaufman was already heavily involved in the community.

"Before I was emp-loyed by the city, I used to work at Calico Cupboard, which occupied the building where Old Bag of Nails is today," she said.

As a volunteer in the community, Kaufman helps coordinate the police division Caring & Sharing collection, has been involved with police programs such as Puppets and Lessons on Safety (PALS), and serves as the current president and co-founder of Half Units Gathering and Giving Support (HUGGS), a group which offers support to the spouses and families of Westerville police officers, according to McAfee.

"This is a tough life sometimes. I think it's important to open the door to let families know they're part of the same police world," she said.

Deputy police chief Del Robeson said Kaufman's dedication and positive attitude made her an appropriate winner for this year's award.

"(Kaufman) takes a personal interest in each and every employee at the division," Robeson said. "She carries this over to her dealings with other city staff and the citizens of Westerville. She always goes out of her way to help anyone."

Also recognized on Dec. 12 by the city were the electric division and the parks & recreation division for outstanding safety records. Both divisions received the 'Safety Matters: Department of the Year' annual award.

The parks & recreation division built on a strong safety record by establishing the Internal Safety and Security Committee, which helped to reduce the department's injury frequency in 2008 by about 50 percent, according to McAfee.

The electric division was recognized because they did not record any loss-time injuries in 2008, according to McAfee.