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The Boros top cops, firefighters
Public Safety announces department award winners
Police photo for web
Shown, from left, are Statesboro Police Det. Ben Purvis, who was named SPD Detective of the Year; Lt. Kaleb Moore, named Top Gun; Advanced Patrol Officer Andrew Samples, named Officer of the Year; and Officer Charles Brown, named Rookie of the Year. Not pictured is Dispatcher Kelly Yaughn, named Support Person of the Year. - photo by Special

    Statesboro Police and Fire departments honored seven employees recently during an annual award ceremony, said Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner.
    Four officers and a dispatcher from the Statesboro Police Department and two firefighters from the Statesboro Fire Department received awards.
    “I am very proud of all members of our public service agencies and the exceptional level of service that they provide to all our citizens,” Turner said.
    Ricky Hutchinson, who has been with the fire department for 31 years, was named Firefighter of the Year.
    “The Firefighter of the Year award is presented to one member of the department each year for outstanding service,” Turner said. “Nominees are members that routinely go above and beyond their normal duties to ensure that the citizens of Statesboro and Bulloch County receive exceptional fire department services.”
    Members of the department submitted nominations to the shift commander, including reasons for the nomination. Then, command staff reviewed candidates’ performance records and discussed their contributions to the department before deciding on the award winner, he said.
    Hutchinson “continues to be a valued asset with the enthusiasm and excitement of a rookie firefighter on his first day on the job,” Turner said. “He is one of the most dependable and reliable members of the department and always displays a positive and helpful attitude.”
Ralph Deal Award

    Statesboro firefighter Jason Mongold was selected for the Ralph Deal Training Award, which is presented to one member of the department annually for exceptional training. The award is named in honor of the Statesboro Fire Department’s first training officer, Ralph Deal.
    “Recipients of this award have taken extraordinary steps to improve the overall training of the department by either gaining the training themselves and bringing it back into the department or by involving themselves directly with the training of other firefighters or fire officers,” Turner said. “This award is decided on by the department’s training officer after he has carefully looked over the training records of all members within the department.”
    Mongold obtained more than 700 continuing training hours in 2009, he said.
    “It should be noted that firefighters in the state of Georgia are required, by law, to only obtain 24 hours annually to maintain state certification.  So as you see, Firefighter Mongold was way ahead of the curve this past year.”
    Mongold gained the 700 hours by pursuing a Fire Science degree from Ogeechee Technical College as well as attending several classes taught at the Georgia Fire Academy, he said. “Mongold has shown that he has an unprecedented will to obtain as much knowledge as possible for both himself and the Statesboro Fire Department.”
Officer of the Year

    Statesboro Police Advanced Patrol Officer Andrew Samples was named Officer of the Year after nominations and votes by his peers. The award is given to an officer who “has shown outstanding service and call of duty to the agency and the community they serve,” Turner said. “This is a coveted award and it demonstrates the commitment of the award winner to consistently perform at the exceptional level.”
    Samples “has proven to be an exemplary officer and is the top performer in the agency for year 2009,” he said. “He has consistently made felony and misdemeanor arrests and handled the largest amount of calls for service. APO Samples has a very high amount of training hours for the year and is a member of the agency’s Emergency Response Team (SWAT).”
Detective of the Year

    Detective Ben Purvis was named Statesboro Police Detective of the Year, which is an award presented to a detective with the Criminal Investigations Division who “has shown outstanding service and call of duty to the agency and the community they serve,” Turner said. “Purvis is a career investigator and has proven himself to be a very valuable member of the Operations Bureau. Detective Purvis is a very thorough investigator and has a strong record of success in the prosecution of his assigned cases.”
    Purvis cleared over half of 254 cases assigned to him in 2009.
Rookie of the Year

    The Rookie of the Year is an annual award given to the member of the Patrol Bureau who is currently under the 12-month probationary status as a new employee, Turner said. The nominee would have “shown outstanding service and call of duty to the agency and the community.”
    Officer Charles Brown earned the award for 2009.
    “Officer Brown is model officer for all to emulate,” Turner said.
    Brown was “selected from a group of ‘rookie’ officers because of his work ethic, work performance history, and his overall character,” he said. “He is also a returning veteran from serving in our armed forces missions in the Middle East.”
Top support person

    Statesboro Police Dispatcher Kelly Yaughn was named “Support Person of the Year,” an annual award that is given to the member of the Operations Bureau’s Support Unit who has shown outstanding service and call of duty to the agency and the community they serve,” Turner said. “This award is voted on by the members of the agency. Without our support staff, our overall performance would suffer. These personnel are often overlooked and not recognized, which makes this award very special.”
    Yaughn has been with the department for over two years and won the award two years in a row
Top Gun

    The “Top Gun of the Year” award is given to the certified officer who qualifies in the top percentage for accuracy during the annual department firearms qualifications for their primary duty weapon.
    “This year there was a three way tie between Lt. Kaleb Moore, Sgt. Rob Bryan, and Detective Tommy Brown,” Turner said. “All three of these officers had a firearms qualification tie-breaker, with Lt. Moore having a perfect score of 300 raw score, or 100 percent.”
    Maintaining a minimum level of proficiency on firearms and all other equipment is a standard that applies to all law enforcement officers across the state of Georgia, he said.
    Turner expressed pride in the caliber of officers and firefighters employed by the City of Statesboro. “I would also like to congratulate all award winners for rising to this level of service where they are recognized by their peers and for their performance,” he said. “Statesboro should be very proud of each and every one of you.”
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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