The Grove City Division of Police recognized officers and civilian employees for their service April 6 at its annual awards banquet.

Officer Chris Eberhard was honored as the division's 2016 Officer of the Year and dispatcher Jenna Riegel was named as the 2016 Civilian of the Year.

The recipients were nominated by peers and selected by an awards committee made up of both officers and civilian employees who reviewed all nominations, police Chief Jeff Pearson said.

Eberhard, 50, has been with the department for 27 years and is a Grove City native.

"This is the best job I could imagine ever having and the best community to work in," Eberhard said. "It was an amazing place to grow up in and it means a lot to me to be able to help protect and serve my hometown."

The award was an honor, he said, but "I'm really accepting it on behalf of our entire department.

"We work together as a team and every other officer I work with is just as deserving of recognition," Eberhard said.

The real reward for a police officer "is being able to help someone get through a bad time," he said.

"We do more things to help people than to hurt them. The most satisfying part of the job is being there for someone during a time of distress," Eberhard said.

Riegel works as a dispatcher on the second shift.

"A lot of times people who are calling in are frantic," she said. "They are in a middle of a crisis and it's our job to calm them and let them know help is on the way."

The best part of her job "is probably the people I get to work with," Riegel said.

"We have great teamwork," she said. "I get to be part of something that is bigger than just the individual."

Other awards presented at the banquet included:

* Rick Boehm, volunteer of the year.

* Distinguished service certificates to Jill Stillwell, Detective Nick Deskins and to the entire detective bureau. This award goes to employees who go above and beyond their duties.

* Lifesaving citations to officers Marcus Petty and Joshua Smith. Petty was honored for a Narcan administration incident in January 2016 and Smith was recognized for his response to a stabbing incident in July 2016 where he administered first aid to slow bleeding. Both officers were also recognized for their roles in administering Narcan and CPR in a November 2016 incident.

The annual awards banquet "allows us to take time to recognize our officers for the work they do," Pearson said. "A lot of the time, it's a thankless job."

The awards and citations "are just a snapshot of what we do every day," he said.

"Our goal is to provide exceptional service to the community. We strive to do that day in and day out," Pearson said.

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