Cross named officer of the year

Published 6:38 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories on police personnel who recently received department-wide awards.

Officer Kenneth Cross was working at night on Feb. 24, 2011, when he noticed headlights through the glass bay doors of a tire store on North Main Street.

Seeing a vehicle loaded with tires in the back seat leaving the store, he stopped the vehicle and questioned the driver and the passenger, who admitted to taking the tires from the property for financial gain.

Cross

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It was just one incident among the many that earned Cross, now a detective, the 2011 Officer of the Year Award for the Suffolk Police Department.

“I was really excited to have the award and to be chosen,” Cross said. “A lot of officers go to work and do the same thing I do every day and work just as hard.”

Cross has worked for the Suffolk Police Department for about four years. Before that, he lived in Alabama and worked in law enforcement on two different occasions for about three and a half years total.

He works property crimes, so he tracks down burglary and robbery suspects every day. But he said the most rewarding part of his job isn’t making an arrest — that comes second.

“The most rewarding part of law enforcement is when you actually have an opportunity to make a difference on a medical call situation or have an opportunity to provide some type of service,” he said. “On top of that, there’s enforcing the laws that are broken and making an arrest.”

Cross served in uniform patrol since joining the department in February 2008 until he transferred to the Detective Bureau in February 2012. He also is on the SWAT team.

Despite the vital service his job provides to the city, Cross has modest goals for each day he comes to work.

“When I leave for the office every day, I hope to help somebody and make it back home,” he said.

Lt. Robert Ross, who nominated Cross for the award, said, “Officer Cross consistently and diligently performed his duties as a police officer over the last year. His efforts, among other things, led to the arrest of a robbery suspect and a burglary suspect.”

Cross and his wife Sharmeen, who works as an animal caretaker with Suffolk Animal Control, have three children, Shelton, Trent and Lauren Katelynn.