Top Cops honored

Published 9:54 pm Saturday, November 16, 2013

Officer Antonio Diggs, the Suffolk Police Department’s 2013 Top Cop, attends the Nov. 2 event with girlfriend Whitley Starks.

Officer Antonio Diggs, the Suffolk Police Department’s 2013 Top Cop, attends the Nov. 2 event with girlfriend Whitley Starks.

The Greater Hampton Roads Crime Lines hosted the 13th annual Top Cop Awards and Dinner on Nov. 2 at the Hilton Garden Inn Riverfront in Suffolk.

Law enforcement officers from each Hampton Roads city and county who have demonstrated a particular commitment to a safer community in the past year attended and were honored.

The honoree from Suffolk Police Department was Officer Antonio P. Diggs, who has been with the department since 2010.

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During the nomination period, Diggs made 199 arrests resulting in 326 charges, according to a media release from the city. In addition, he is a trained evidence technician.

In April 2012, he was recognized for making two significant arrests in a narcotics crime and also seized cash.

He also gathered some of his colleagues to sponsor a family in need last Christmas, providing a tree and presents for a mother and her two boys. He also has taken part in the department’s public safety flag football competition to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

“Officer Diggs’ efforts demonstrate that he is a well-rounded, energetic and professional officer,” Police Chief Thomas Bennett said in a press release. “He is a credit to his profession and his community.”

Honored from other local agencies were the following:



  • Chesapeake Police Department — Police Officer John P. Cook
  • Hampton Police Department — Senior Police Officer John D. Vantilburg, Jr.
  • Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office — Investigator Matthew Van Wassen
  • James City County Police Department — Master Police Officer Sterling Perry
  • Newport News Police Department — Master Police Detective Amber L. Rogers
  • Norfolk Airport Authority — Captain Sheila D. Ward
  • Norfolk Police Department — Investigator Jacob Wright
  • Poquoson Police Department — Corporal David Dixon
  • Portsmouth Police Department — Detective Bryant Hall
  • Smithfield Police Department — Officer Edmund C. Cook
  • Virginia State Police — Trooper Joseph L. Napier Jr.
  • Virginia Beach Police Department — Detective Sean Coerse
  • Williamsburg Police Department — Investigator Maurice L. Craighill
  • Windsor Police Department — First Sgt. Rodney Daniel Riddle
  • York County-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office — Investigator Michael Adam Cooper

The Hampton Roads Top Cop, chosen from among the honorees from the individual organizations and announced at the banquet, was Newport News Master Police Detective Amber L. Rogers.

Other individuals and corporations also were recognized for their efforts to make the neighborhoods and businesses of Hampton Roads safer places to live and work. They were:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award — MaryAnne Nixon
  • Top Individual — Linda Evans
  • Top Corporation — TowneBank

Proceeds from this dinner and silent auction pay for the toll free 1-888-LOCK-U-UP number, the second-most recognized phone number in Hampton Roads. Citizens, the media and law enforcement use the number to anonymously fight crime, arrest criminals and recover stolen property. Remaining proceeds are shared among the participating Crime Line, Crime Stoppers and Crime Solvers programs to help pay rewards to tipsters. The funds also go to equip participating programs with Tip Soft software for text and web tipping.