Archived Story

Honor a Top Cop

Published 9:02pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Most of Suffolk’s police officers work in relative obscurity. They drive vehicles that are pretty much indistinguishable from one another. Their uniforms are designed to command authority and to suggest the brotherhood of their calling. Even the simple fact that they tend to be called by their last names and ranks, rather than using first names, gives them a certain anonymity.

But an annual program put on by the Hampton Roads Crime Lines seeks to give deserving area police officers some rare time in the spotlight. The annual Top Cop Awards Dinner will be coming to Suffolk this year, and each of the cities in Hampton Roads will honor one of their own for work that makes him or her stand out among his or her peers.

It’s customary for each of the police chiefs in the participating cities to nominate an officer from his force for the Top Cop designation, but Crime Line officials are urging members of the public to participate by submitting their own nominees, as well.

Nominees for Top Cop must live in the Hampton Roads area and perform service in a participating locality. Nominations will be considered based on the nominee’s consistent, salutary performance and dedication as demonstrated by their leadership skills and personal achievements from Jan. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013.

Last year’s winner from Suffolk was Andre Weaver, a school resource officer at Nansemond River High School. He was nominated by Michelle Duncan, a marketing teacher at the school. In her nomination letter, Duncan cited Weaver’s various initiatives, focusing on his efforts to educate students about state laws and helping them learn to become active, productive citizens and students.

The Crime Lines board is also looking for businesses and individuals to honor for their efforts to help fight crime. Those nominees will be considered based on how their sustained supportive efforts from the same time period have contributed to making Hampton Roads a safer community.

For most people in Suffolk, the only contact they have with police officers is when they see blue lights flashing in the rear view mirror and realize they’ve been speeding. But many of the city’s residents and business owners have had the opportunity to see Suffolk’s men and women in blue doing their dangerous jobs with an admirable degree of professionalism.

If you’ve benefited from — or even just witnessed — that kind of professionalism in action, nominating a police officer for the Top Cop Award would be a great way to acknowledge it.

For more information on how to nominate, call Larry Ronan at 214-1644 or email him at eodronan1@gmail.com. The awards will be presented at a banquet on Nov. 2.

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