Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2015 - 07:42:25

Hopewell Police Department Honors Excellence in 2012
By Sarah Steele Wilson, Newsroom Editor
Dec 19, 2012, 14:11

photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Police Chief John Keohane thanked Hopewell’s police force for their service during the year end recognition and awards program Tuesday.

Surrounded by the city’s law enforcement community, Hopewell Police Chief, John Keohane, welcomed attendees to the Hopewell Police Department’s End of Year Recognition and Awards program Tuesday.

“This ceremony is supposed to be a joyous occasion,” Keohane said.

Although the department already awarded some of its top officers in May, Keohane said some of the recent accomplishments of his staff have been too significant to wait for five months to recognize.

“A lot of great work went into this year,” he said, noting that the conduct of officers who put themselves in harm’s way to respond to the VFW shooting on Dec. 2 and other situations that took place after the last award ceremony deserved more immediate recognition.

Officer Trevor Terry, a senior investigator for the Hopewell Police Department Crime Suppression Team took home the Officer of the Year Award for his “intelligence, diligence and teamwork.”

As a member of Central Virginia’s Regional Narcotics Task Force, Terry has investigated over 40 cases this year, executing eight search warrants as a part of his investigations and proving instrumental in the seizure of over $25,000 in currency in 2012 alone.

“Detective Terry’s devotion to duty and exceptional initiative brings great honor to himself, his squad and our agency, which is why he’s been selected as Hopewell Police Department’s 2012 Officer of the Year,” Keohane said.

Detective Richard Hartman, a 27 year veteran of the police force, received a Meritorious Service Award for his quick responses and meticulous investigations.

“He just loves the challenge and bringing closure to families when he’s investigating crimes,” Keohane said. “I appreciate, with 27 years of service, his tenacity still to bring justice is awesome.”

Mark Polumbo, a member of the department’s uniform patrol division, also received a Meritorious Service Award.

“He does a lot of detective work besides doing the initial patrol work, which is great,” Keohane said.

Officers Sean Spencer, Song Pak, Mike Parsio and Jeremy Bach were all recognized for “outstanding achievement and bravery” in responding to the shooting outside the VFW bar, during which a victim in a car was shot, sustaining injuries that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

“They were put in harm’s way,” Keohane said, noting that the situation outside the bar was chaotic and the pursuit of the subject was dangerous. “They used their training and they were tactful, used great tactics, to bring this to a successful conclusion with no other person being hurt besides the person in the car.”

Fire Department members Donnie Hunter, Rick Mejias, David Hanson, Stephanie Newton, Shawn Jones and Jeremy Bottoms received a Chief’s Award for their service during the VFW incident, providing emergency care to the injured victim.

“It was a team effort out there that night,” Keohane said.

Keohane said that this year had been distinguished by the number of times officers put themselves in danger in performing their duties.

Hopewell Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Loving received a Chief’s Award for his assistance in an incident that also earned many Police and Animal Control officers awards.

On Nov. 5, a canine was struck by a car. Officers worked to free the animal from beneath the vehicle where its leg was entangled.

“We can’t do it alone,” Keohane said, recognizing the other departments that have assisted the police throughout the year. “We need an army of folks to do our jobs and the support that we’ve gotten from the fire department, from the sheriff’s office are second to none and I thank them for being part of the family and really working well with us in this aspect here,”

Officer Sean Spencer was also recognized for his control of his K-9 Phelan during an incident on Oct. 21, during which Spencer struggled with an offender and used voice commands alone to keep the agitated dog from biting the offender.

“That’s very hard for him to hear today, because he just lost K-9 Phelan to a medical condition two weeks ago,” Keohane said. “We’re going to get him a new dog, but I know he’s going to miss that special relationship he has with K-9 Phelan, who he was partners with for five years.”

Also honored during the ceremony were Bill Absher, Matthew Byrum, Ryan Fitzsimons, Keith Krueger, Dan Pisarek, Megan Shelton, Amanda Amaral, Cheyenne Casale, Tara Ingram, Justin Cote, Paul Intravia, Shea Richardson, Mike Whittington, Franklin McQuage, William Blankenship, Rose Camacho, Douglas Suyes, John Irons, Kenneth Wontz, Donald Reid, Kevin Johnson, Daniel Hoak, Gabriel Constanzo, James Shutt, William Sciacca, Donita Williams and Devron Bourque.

Several individuals received awards in multiple categories.

“I’m very proud of this team,” Keohane said.

Currently, the department is pursuing accredited status through the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Committee, which would add the Hopewell Police Department’s name to a list of 85 other agencies.

“This department has been beat up a lot over the years and that’s changing,” Keohane said. “That’s changing and it’s going to change.”

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