Cambridge Police Dept. recognizes officers for serving the community
CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Police Department honored its officers during the 13th annual Police Awards Banquet at the American Legion Post 91 on Wednesday, March 23.
Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley gave a few brief words of welcome.
“There’s no greater calling than the calling to be a police officer,” she said. “The fact that you sacrifice your time and your time with your family for the city of Cambridge can not be overlooked. I appreciate it so much, and I thank the families for being willing to share you with us. We always have to remember, we’re in this together.”
Cambridge Police Chief Daniel A. Dvorak said the significance of the yearly ceremony.
“This ceremony is important to us because it gives us a chance to recognize our officers,” he said. “Throughout the year, we recognize our officers for epitomizing our department’s motto. Our motto is ‘Committed to Excellence.’ They go above and beyond the call duty to provide exceptional service.”
Nominations for the awards are made throughout the year by supervisors and co-workers based on specific criteria. The nominations are then considered and recipients chosen by the awards committee.
Pfc. Stephen Hackett was named the officer of the year. Dvorak also presented civilian awards. “My one clear message over the past year has been to get the police and community working together,” Dvorak said. “Tonight, I’m proud to lead off our ceremony with a perfect example of partnership that ended a three month crime spree that involved dozens of thefts and burglaries.”
The awards went to Thurman Cannon and John James for their role in closing that case.
The ceremony continued with the officer awards, which not only recognized the accomplishments of the officers but
also the families.
“If you ask any family member, a situation doesn’t necessarily end when the call is over,” Dvorak said. “Every call, every day, every shift rotation can weigh on us. It’s really only through the support of our families that we’re able to make it through. So tonight, families are going to be involved in the presentation of the awards.”
With each award, JacksonStanley and Major Mark Lewis presented a certificate and the family of the officer was given a medal to present to their loved one. Several officers won multiple awards. The honorees were:
Life Saving Award: Stephen Hackett (2)
Meritorious Service Award: Ptl. John Foster
Exceptional Duty Award: Pfc. Joseph Beans (2)
Honorable Service Award: Sgt. Antoine Patton, Cpl. Jeffery Smith, Cpl. Robert Ball (2), Pfc. Eric Miller, Pfc. Mark Gosnell, Det. Jason Dickerson (2), Det. Frank Schmidt, Pfc. Edward Howard, Pfc. John Frank Jones (3), Pfc. Joseph Beans, Pfc. Harold Dukes, Pfc. Donald Johnson (2), Pfc. Christopher Phillips (2), Pfc. Nicholas Gonzalez, Ptl. Mark Shayne.
Unit Citation: “A Squad” Sgt. Jose Hernandez and his team — Cpl. Justin Newcomb, Pfc. Nicholas Gonzalez, Pfc. Eric Miller, Pfc. Christopher Phillips, Pfc. Jason Drake and communications officer Shelbie Bishop
Each award presentation was accompanied by an account of the incident during which the officer’s actions
Dvorak also recognized 2015 retirees of the department: Major Jones, Corporal Satterfield, Sergeant Perez, Detective Harper, Corporal Cook, and K9 Roman.
As announced by Commander Tom Anderson, Post 91 covered all expenses for the banquet as a gesture of support for the Cambridge Police Department.
Det. Jason Dickerson, Pfc. Mark Gosnell, and Sgt. Antoine Patton each received the Honorable Service Award for their teamwork during an incident that occurred through the investigation of several home invasions.
Sgt. Jose Hernandez and his “A Squad” were honored with the Unit Citation Award. A-Squad officers Cpl. Justin Newcomb, Pfc. Nicholas Gonzalez, Pfc. Eric Miller, Pfc. Christopher Phillips, Pfc. Jason Drake and communications officer Shelbie Bishop joined Hernandez in accepting the award.
Det. Frank Schmidt received the Honorable Service Award for uncovering and seizing two illegal weapons during a traffic stop.
Ptl. John Foster was honored with the Meritorious Award, and his family presented his medal.
Thurman Cannon and John James were honored with the Civilian Award for their role in ending a three-month crime spree that included dozens of thefts and burglaries.