Ceremony honors those who go ‘above and beyond the call of duty’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 1, 2002

Suffolk Police Chief W.A. Freeman said Thursday evening that he considers the men and women of the department as &uot;undoubtedly the most dedicated group of people a chief of police could have.&uot; Freeman made the remarks during the annual awards ceremony that honors those who go &uot;above and beyond the call of duty.&uot;

During the service held in city council chambers, the command staff of the department, Major Richard Hurd, called on the honorees to come forward to receive plaques and certificates for meritorious service.

Beginning with special recognition for excellence in the performance of his duties, Detective Gary Myrick was tapped as &uot;Officer of the Year.&uot; He has served with the department almost five years in capacities from bicycle patrol officer to evidence technician, field training officer, alcohol enforcement, and he took on the added responsibility of serving as advisor for the Suffolk Police Explorer Post #41. He also serves on the chief’s advisory committee. A native of Suffolk, Myrick also served the National Guard for eight years. In 2001, Myrick made 22 felony arrests with 11 of them being drug-related.

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Telecommunicator Jean Smith was honored as the &uot;Dispatcher of the Year,&uot; for her services to the 911 communications bureau.

Her peers in the bureau who described her as &uot;phenomenal&uot; nominated Smith. She is highly esteemed for her ability to function under the great pressure of emergency calls including a chemical spill from an overturned vehicle on Jan. 29.

It seemed fitting that Smith’s supervisor, Sergeant John J. Marx was honored as of the Year.&uot; He has served in many capacities including detective, special investigations and he now serves as the commanding officer in the 911 communications bureau.

Investigator J.A. Marcus was recognized as &uot;Officer of the First Quarter.&uot;

Marcus began serving in 1998 and he not only serves as a patrolman but also as an evidence technician, breath alcohol technician, radar operator and field training officer. He has received numerous commendations from members of the community and is respected among his peers, said Major Hurd.

Two Suffolk officers, C.A. Duck and Sergeant John King were each given the &uot;Lifesaving Award,&uot; for their part in rescuing local citizens.

Duck went into action when he spotted a vehicle burning and an occupant trapped inside.

King rescued a woman from a vehicle that had run off the highway into a water-filled ditch. He was off duty at the time and on his way home to his own family. Assisting him was State Trooper M. Lee, who was also honored last night.

Detective Everette C. Harris was recognized for noteworthy performance in his duties as a desk officer in the department’s lobby.

Harris, a veteran of the department, greeted civilians in the lobby as he assisted them with their questions and needs. He helped his fellow officers in the same manner, courteously, and with knowledge through his years of service. He was described as &uot;courteous, professional and humble.&uot;

One local citizen, Jonathan Daughtrey, received the &uot;Citizens Award,&uot; proving that civilians can be instrumental in helping police remove crime from this city.

On June 20, Daughtrey observed two masked, armed men as they started to enter a bank in this city. They spotted him watching their actions and fled the scene.

Daughtrey followed, notifying police of what was happening and police were able to apprehend and arrest the pair of suspects.

Freeman ended his remarks by saying that &uot;it is through the combined efforts between law enforcement and local citizens that we can experience a sense of safety for our community.&uot;

Others who received certificates of honor include: Animal Control Officer Michelle Wheeler; Investigator Marcus Young; Lieutenant T.M. Davenport; Detectives D.J. Green and D. Jenkins; Officers J.R. Clock, T.J. Camp, J.M. Milteer, C. Wheeler, C.L. Grant, M. Erie, T.L. Cooper, D.M. Coleman, J.K. Cooke, F. Cunningham, N. Thomas, C.W. Bryant, M. Earls; and Telecommunications Operators Rachel Gayle, and Rosalind Britt.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan Walton received a special award, and Chris Hearn also received recognition for his help to the department.