Often overlooked for their bravery and work ethic, members of the Juneau Police Department were honored at the department's annual awards banquet Sept. 18 in Centennial Hall.
"I feel our department does a lot of good work over the course of the year," Juneau Police Department Chief Greg Browning said. "I know that officers are out there putting their lives on the line and doing things because they want to help the community, not doing it for themselves. I feel like it is nice to pause, at least once a year, and recognize all the good work that is done."
Each year four employees are selected to receive Chiefs' Awards. This year Kim Horn received the officer of the year award, Kris Sell won manager of the year honors, Stacy Eldemar earned was named civilian employee of the year and Sarah Dolan received the dispatcher of the year award.
Horn started with JPD in 1984 as a dispatcher, became a community service officer in 1993 and a patrol officer in 1997, Browning said. She has received 64 commendations. The last three years she has been assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit.
Browning said Sell's primary duties are supervisor of the communications section but she also serves as the president of the Capital City Chapter of the Alaska Peace Officers Association.
Browning mentioned that Eldemar joined JPD in 2005 and is a support specialist to the investigations and drug unit, and helps with the Community Service Unit and the School Recourse Officer Program; and Dolan, aside from dispatch work, also trained recruits as a Certified Training Officer and trained patrol in first aid and CPR.
JPD Captain Jerry Nankervis presented the department's Merit Awards.
Officers Joseph Heynen and Thomas Penrose received the Medal of Bravery for their response to the multiple events caused by violent weather Nov. 14, including rescue of a man from a boat during gale-force winds and the evacuation of multiple residents of an apartment building on Gastineau Avenue during a mudslide.
Officer Sarah Hieb received the Jackie Renninger Community Policing Award for her numerous volunteer activities including the Special Olympics Torch Run that raised more than $11,000 and National Night Out that saw an increase of block parties by 67 percent.
Officers James Esbenshade, Jarrett Mahoney, Sterling Salisbury, and Nicholas Garza received the Lifesaving Medal after responding to, and talking down, a man who planned to hang himself from the Glacier Highway Access Road overpass on Egan Drive.
The Outstanding Police Service Medal was presented to 12 officers for their response, commitment, and dedication during the recent shootings of Hoonah policemen Anthony Wallace and Matthew Tokuoka.
"Some of the awards are not anything you can prepare for," Browning said. "The Hoonah situation for instance. We certainly hope we never have another situation like that but these officers went over and faced it and did it admirably. We always learn from every thing that occurs or we try to anyway.
Those JPD members were Sergeant David Campbell, Detectives Krag Campbell and Brian Dallas and officers Terry Allen, Daniel Cheshire, Nicholas Garza, Christopher Gifford, Heynen, Tonya James, Lee Phelps, Shawn Phelps, and Michael Wise.
"These officers stayed alert, focused and on task for nearly 30 hours before relief officers from the State troopers arrived," Browning said. "They were professional, courteous to the citizens and fit in effortlessly with the other arriving agencies. The JPD were praised by (the Alaska State Troopers) and the Hoonah community."
The JPD has more than 90 employees in its department.
Contact Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at email@example.com.