Caroline Holds First Citizens Police Academy

The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office has had one of its busiest times since the administration of Sheriff Lippa took over in January of 2004.  Since the last issue of Virginia Sheriff went to press, our first citizens police academy has graduated, our 5th annual awards ceremony was held and 3 new recruits have graduated the academy.

On December 10th, our first Citizens Police Academy graduated a class of 14 attendees.  The concept of the Citizen Police Academy actually started in the United Kingdom in 1977. It began in the City of Exeter, England. A police night school was implemented to allow citizens, who were anxious to learn about Police functions, Police operations and the organization of the Police system in England.

The founders received an immediate response from the public. They were soon overwhelmed with applicants wanting to know about “their” police force. The project was so successful that it was permanently adopted as part of an ongoing police public relations program.

In 1985, the Orlando, Florida Police Department adopted the concept of the Police Night School for their agency and created the first Citizen Police Academy in the United States. The ultimate goal of the Orlando Citizen Police Academy was to reduce crime through a stronger citizen commitment to the Police Department and the Community. Success was instantaneous and a new law enforcement tool was found. Word of the success spread and in that same year Missouri City, Texas joined in and adopted the same concept.

Today you will find Citizen Police Academy programs throughout the United States in communities large and small.  We are proud to say that growing group now includes the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office.  While this was our first class, it will not be our last.

On December 10th, the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office held its 5th annual awards ceremony.  Attendance was strong as a large number of appointees, both sworn and civilian, were recognized this year.

The awards committee, comprised of appointees and local civic minded citizens, selects the awards based on both nominations from appointees and their own observations.  Awards were presented to the following individuals: Members of the Awards Committee, Mr. Andy Farmer and Mr. Bob Gordon.

Members of the sheriff’s business advisory team, Mr. Danny Carter, Mr. Greg Deans, Mr. Hardy Dunnington, Mr. Andy Farmer, Mr. Bob Gordon, Ms. Debbie James and Ms. L. J. Moyer.

Certificates of Appreciation were issued to Pastor John Boquist of Cardinal Baptist Church, who offered out invocation; County administrator, Mr. Percy Ashcraft; Member of the Board of Supervisors Mr. Wayne Acors, who also served as our keynote speaker; The Honorable David Storke, Mayor of Bowling Green; Teresa Surles, Animal Control employee; Sheriff’s Office Analyst, Mark Gooch; Administrative Assistant Ms. Tanisha Wimmer; and Dispatcher J. R. Carter.

4 Year Good conduct awards were presented to Sergeant C. A. Rozell, who received his 2nd good conduct award; Investigator Brian Fedder; Deputy Richie Anderson; and Deputy Robbie Cleveland.

4 Year Safe Driving awards were presented to Sergeant C. A. Rozell, Deputy Richie Anderson, Deputy Robbie Cleveland, Investigator Brian Fedder, Deputy Wendy Jones and Deputy David Lipscomb.

2 Year Specialty Team Awards are presented to those employees who have shown special dedication and training to a particular field within law enforcement.  Each of these awards were earned through voluntary action, and each appointee must have performed the specialty for 2 years to receive the award.  This year’s award winners were all members of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team:  Lieutenant Keith Chatman, Sergeant Russ Hixson, Deputy Richie Anderson, Deputy Tony Dip and Deputy Chris Wooldridge.

A 4- year instructor’s award went to Sergeant C. A. Rozell.

The rookie of the year award, won by Deputy R. O. Carty, finished the basic academy at the top of her class.

Meritorious Police Conduct Awards went to:  Deputy Fonda Brennan; Sergeant Stacy Cary; Deputy Tim Connolly; Deputy Irvin Cooper; Deputy Tony Dip; Sergeant Julie Heffler; Deputy Craig Heywood; , Master Deputy George Honeycutt; Deputy Marshall Hughes; Deputy Samantha Jessee; Deputy David Lipscomb; Sergeant Chad Rozell and Deputy Chad Polliard.

Excellent Police Conduct Awards went to: Lieutenant Joe Crowder; Investigator Krystal DiGravio-Ferguson; Deputy Karl Eichenmiller; Investigator Mack Ellett; Investigator Brian Fedder; Investigator Chris Hall; Deputy Greg Hamilton; Lieutenant Angel Lambert; Sergeant Travis Nutter; and Sergeant Miles Turner.

The lifesaving award went to Deputy Tim Connolly and Deputy Ben Doucet.  This is the second straight year Deputy Doucet has received this award.

The civilian employee of the year was Ms. Barbara Lockhart.

Our dispatcher of the year, Garnet Blanton, was recommended for the award by one of her peers for her actions the night of a fire here in January where a resident nearly died in her burning home.

Our court services employee of the was Deputy Robbie Cleveland.

Our “deputy” of the year was a unanimous decision by the committee.  With the financial crisis the county, and indeed the nation, faced, the winner had many difficult choices to make.  The hours this recipient put in far exceeded those they were compensated for, but they never complain.  Our “Deputy” of the Year  for 2009 was none other than our sheriff – Tony Lippa.

Recently, one of our members, Richard Grimes, took retirement and we took this opportunity to both recognize his service and also to present him with his retirement badge and ID card.

The police medal, our third highest award for bravery, went to Major Scott Moser for his actions last November to disarm and take into custody a mentally disturbed individual.  Without regard for his own safety, Moser found a means of approach to this armed, suicidal man and managed to take him into custody without harm to himself or the suspect.

The Sheriff’s Award his award is granted yearly based on personal observations of the Sheriff for contributions made to the office by the recipient.  This is the sole award that is not recommended by the Awards Committee, but is selected by the Sheriff alone.  For 2009, the sheriff’s award went to Lieutenant J. H. Crowder.

Last, but certainly not least, on December 11th, 3 new graduates of the basic academy joined our ranks.  Our congratulations and best wishes in their new careers go to Deputy Steve. Chapman, Deputy Charles Ryan and Deputy Mary Bullock.

Until next quarter, best wishes to all from Caroline County!

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