The Fort Wayne Police Department celebrated the hard work of officers and civilians at its Public Safety Awards ceremony Monday.
The annual night of honors was held at the Public Safety Academy. The ceremony is to recognize those “who have distinguished themselves by performing some notable act or service in the furtherance of law enforcement and community betterment,” according to the police department's order establishing the awards.
Officer Dustin Falk was recognized with the Distinguished Service Citation of Valor, which is awarded by the police chief or mayor to a department employee “who performs an act of heroism in the face of personal injury or risk of life,” the order said. For his work during a dangerous car chase, Falk received a gold medal, red-and-blue breast bar and a certificate.
Several people received Civilian Awards: Staff Sgt. Brian Chilidonia, Todd Eigenschink, Greg Ensley, Nickolas Gilbert, Michael Gilmore, Mitchell Keisling, Sam Kirori, Danny McGhee, James Meyer, Ethan Reum, Nathan Schaefer, Andrew Shubert and Logan Traylor.
Officers receive the Meritorious Service Citation for performing “an extremely laudable or extraordinary act,” the order said. Officers who received the Meritorious Service Citation are Ty Douglas, Keith Harris, Scotty Lewis, Nathan Mueller, Joel Saxton and Tom Vachon.
Many officers received Letters of Commendation, which are awarded for noteworthy acts or service based on determined and intelligent performance: Officer Bob Abels, Sgt. Chris Brautzsch, Sgt. Mark Brooks, Officer Michael Carrier, Officer Zach Chapman, Det. Chris Crasper, Det. Gavin Dambra, Det. Mark Deshaies, Sgt. Chris Faherty, Det. Matt Foote, Det. Casey Furge, Det. John Greenlee, Det. Chris Hawthorne, Det. Chris Hoffman, Det. Don Kidd, Sgt. Dave Klein, Officer Dave McCarran, Officer Jeremy Nicodemus, Det. Cameron Norris, Det. Robin Pfeiffer, Officer Ben Sloan, Officer Cameron Stuttle, Officer Rod Waters, Officer Everett White and Officer Will Winston.
Officers who received Community Service Awards are Officer Greg Addison, Officer Sherronda Blocher, Officer Steve Ealing, Officer Kyle Garritano, Dep. Chief Steve Haffner, Officer Darin Kenemore, Officer Joel Lengerich, Captain Kurt Letz, Officer Chris McAfee, Dep. Chief Mitch McKinney, Officer Amanda Miller, Det. Matt Newbauer, Officer James Payne, Cap. Sofia Rosales-Scatena, Sgt. Jim Seay, Officer Alisha Smith, Officer Tom Vachon, Officer Isaac Valencia and Officer Ben Young.
Many officers received Awards of Excellence, given to employees who deserve recognition at a lower level of the other awards. They are Officer Shay Beaver, Officer Steve Buffenbarger, Det. Tad Davis, Det. Tina Dickey, Officer Zach Eastburn, Det. Steve Espinoza, Officer Craig Fairchild, Det. Jean Gigli, Officer Keith Harris, Sgt. Josh Hartup, Officer Nicholas Heyerly, Officer Kylen Hill, Officer Christian Lichtsinn, Officer Nick Lichtsinn, Officer Dave McCarran, Officer Julian Mestre, Officer Spencer Munger, Sgt. Art Norton, Officer James Payne, Officer Alex Ramon, Officer Juana Saldana, Officer Joel Saxton, Officer Okey Sharp, Officer Ben Springer, Officer Gale Stelzer, Officer Sue Ulrich and Officer Greg Woods.