Police present awards

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Suffolk Police Department held its annual awards ceremony and banquet on March 19 at the Planters Club.

The event served to honor and recognize sworn and non-sworn members of the department as well as citizens who have contributed to the success of the department and the service provided to the Suffolk community, according to a city press release.

Special recognitions were presented for the Dispatcher of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year.

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CO Jodi Holliman — Dispatcher of the Year

Communications Operator Jodi Holliman is an asset to the Emergency Communications Center and the department as a whole. She has consistently proven herself to be a dedicated employee since being hired in 2008. Along with the required certifications for her position, she has earned additional certifications and has attended numerous training sessions to enhance her knowledge and skills. Holliman is a member of the Crisis Intervention Team and a certified Communications Training Officer. She has also received training with the Reverse 911 system, COM-L, VDOT Traffic Incident Management and Mental Health First Aid, to name a few.

She has acted as a duty supervisor on numerous occasions. In February 2017, Holliman was given a special assignment where she was tasked to focus her time on the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement to aid the center in becoming CALEA accredited. Holliman made a significant step in her career when she was promoted to Communications Operator III in August. She has always been an excellent ambassador of the agency.

Sgt. Andre Sparks — Supervisor of the Year

Sgt. Andre Sparks is assigned to the Special Operations Unit. During his assignment, he directly managed the School Resource Officers and Marine Patrol Unit for the entire year. Up until the spring of 2017, Sparks managed the Motorcycle Unit and the Parking Enforcement Unit. While managing seven school resource officers, he implemented specific goals and objectives for them to uphold in support of the police department and Suffolk Public Schools. He challenged each resource officer to implement at least one school safety program within all middle and high schools. Additionally, each resource officer was challenged to identify at least two to three at-risk students to mentor throughout the school year.

Sparks challenged each resource officer to interface the Crime Stoppers Program advocated in each middle and high school. He further supported the Crime Stoppers program by coordinating, sponsoring and participating in various basketball games to build relations with the students and police officers. Sparks also ensured that each resource officer conducted a school safety orientation with the school staff and teachers via workshops.

Sparks was also a key mentor for the 2017 Suffolk Youth Public Safety Academy. He has always displayed a strong connection with the students in the academies.

Officer Clifton Sessoms — Police Officer of the Year

Officer Clifton Sessoms’ work ethic has been nothing short of outstanding for the year. Sessoms is currently assigned to the Driver Under the Influence Task Force Unit. Sessoms completed and re-certified as one of only three Drug Recognition Experts in the entire Hampton Roads area. Sessoms was honored by the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers organization as the officer with the most DUI arrests from the city of Suffolk during 2016. During 2017, Sessoms conducted 196 Standard Field Sobriety Tests, resulting in 70 DUI arrests, 61 open container of alcohol violations, 33 refusal to submit breath/alcohol tests violations and four underage drinking violations. Sessoms assisted street patrol officers with 14 DUI arrests and provided 25 drug recognition evaluations to assist other officers in driving under the influence of drugs arrests.

Sessoms’ proactive traffic enforcement also resulted in summonses for 696 speeding violations, 76 reckless driving violations, 35 seatbelt violations, 72 fail to obey highway sign violations, 33 vehicle inspections violations, 39 drive without license violations, 74 driving while revoked/suspended license violations (31 DUI related), three no vehicle insurance violations, one child safety seat violation, 31 vehicle registration violations, 23 equipment violations and 60 miscellaneous violations. His efforts also resulted in 15 felony arrests, 38 misdemeanor drug arrests, 27 weapon and 20 warrant arrests.

Administrative Analyst Joel Howard — Civilian Employee of the Year

Joel Howard is assigned as the administrative analyst for the Suffolk Police Department. Not only does Howard focus on his primary duties pertaining to the administrative analyst position but also he coordinates all of the grants that the department receives, works on special projects and new initiatives such as the DUI taskforce and the department’s Vision Plan and even helps coordinate the yearly Police vs. Fire Football game.

The resources brought to the police department as a result of Howard’s work in grants are second to none. He has used his innovative thinking to apply and receive the 21st Century Policing Grant for 2017 and 2018. He modified this grant to fit the guidelines of 21st Century Policing by obtaining the grant for recruiting a diverse police department to represent the population for which the Suffolk Police Department polices. The grant allowed Suffolk Police to recruit at historically black colleges and all-female colleges. In 2017, the Recruitment Team attended 24 recruiting events as far away as Washington D.C. and Fort Bragg with the assistance of the funds from this grant.

Howard is an asset to the Suffolk Police Department, and he is truly committed to making the Suffolk Police Department the best police department due to his high level of attention to detail, dedication and professionalism while performing his duties.

Life Saving Award:

Officer James Brooks

Officer Anthony Patton

Officer Sean Powell

Officer Zachary Hyman

Officer Lauren Stabinski

Police Officer of the Quarter:

Officer Anthony Patton

Investigator Gary Parker

Officer Josie Hall

Officer Clifton Sessoms

Citizen Award:

Cathy Richards

Gilbert Fitzwater III

Michael O’Neal

Joseph Walker

Department Commendations:

PRT Cynthia Meyer

CO Robert Shelton

CO Khadejah Rawlings-Middleton

Aux. Officer Keith Richards

Aux. Sgt. Donald Thompson

Officer Benjamin Delugo

Officer Brian Hearn

Officer Daniel Ferster

Officer Jennifer Parker (2)

Officer Jose Rivera (2)

Officer Josie Hall (2)

Officer Lori Ellis

Officer Matthew Moraczewski

Officer Michael Holman

Officer Rebecca Penno

Officer Trevor Tello (4)

Officer Tyson Wild

K-9 Chamba

Officer William Bradshaw

Officer Yamilai Diaz Ibarra

Investigator Kevin Dodson

Investigator Ryan Linville

Investigator Wallace Weatherly

Sgt. Chad Hooker

Sgt. Cheryl Balzer

Sgt. Gary Myrick (2)

Sgt. Robert Fahrman

Lt. Kevin Harrison

Community Service Awards:

Officer Jay Burton

Officer Josie Hall

Officer Ryan Moore

Officer Shane Sukowaski

Officer David Wells

Officer William Bradshaw

Investigator Ryan Linville

Investigator David White

Sgt. Antonio Diggs