EAST LANSING, Mich. – On the evening of January 20, 2016, the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) held its annual awards ceremony to recognize outstanding achievements in local law enforcement in 2015. Here are a few highlights from the ceremony:
ELPD Officer Ryan Kuhn received the James S. Johnson Officer of the Year Award for his hard work and continued dedication to ELPD and the community.
ELPD Administrative Assistant Jan Rohn received the Mason Samborski Civilian Employee of the Year Award for her hard work and continued dedication to her career and community.
Lifesaving Citations were presented to ELPD Lt. Steven Gonzalez; civilians Annah Sork and Lana McDowell; and the following ELPD officers: Justan Horst, Adam Park, and Jim Didion. Officers and civilians alike worked together in two separate incidents to save lives in 2015. Both victims in these incidents went on to make complete recoveries.
Bravery Citations were presented to ELPD Sgt. Mike Phillips and the following ELPD officers: Kristine Khoury, Mark Potter, Scott Klavenski, Jeff Spitz Tom Blanck and Jim Didion. These officers assisted at the scene of an incident that occurred at the Mid-Michigan Physicians Office in Lansing Township last November. The incident involved a disgruntled patient who had rammed his vehicle into the building, injuring individuals inside. ELPD assisted with apprehension of the suspect, safe evacuation of the building and securing the scene.
The True Blue Award was presented to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at Sparrow Health Systems. The True Blue Award is presented to members of the public who provide exceptional service and/or support to ELPD and the community. The SANE program provides coordinated, timely, comprehensive and compassionate care to victims of sexual assault on a 24-hour basis. In addition, members of SANE work collaboratively with police, prosecutors, Child Protective Services and community advocacy services. The assistance ELPD receives from members of the SANE program is integral to solving/closing Criminal Sexual Conduct cases.
In addition to the awards that were presented, a number of ELPD officers were recognized for Acts of Simple Kindness in 2015. In all of these examples, the officers used their own money and did not ask for reimbursement:
--ELPD Officer Tonya Williams was dispatched to United Methodist Church on a report of a homeless man sitting in the bushes. When she asked him why he was at the location, the man indicated that he had fallen on hard times and had been homeless for years, but was trying to get himself back together. He had chosen that location because he could fall asleep reading under the street light. When Officer Williams asked how long it had been since he’d slept in a real bed, the man told her, “Probably not since you were a little girl.” Officer Williams had him gather his belongings and drove him to a hotel, where she purchased a room for him. Along the way, she stopped to get him food for the night.
--ELPD Officer Jeff Spitz was dispatched to the East Lansing High School baseball field on a report of a young boy on the field. The boy told Officer Spitz that he liked to play baseball, but didn’t have any equipment. Officer Spitz drove to a store, purchased equipment for the boy and returned to the field to play catch with him for awhile.
--After approaching a man at White Memorial Park who was living in his car, ELPD Officer Barb Hulliberger went to a store and returned shortly with a sleeping bag, pillow and basic toiletries for the man.