During the last year, Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens has heard a number of people praise the performance of Detective Danielle Herring.

During the last year, Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens has heard a number of people praise the performance of Detective Danielle Herring.

"A lot of people went out of their way to tell me that," Kitchens said.

And Monday evening, the chief recognized Herring as the Leavenworth Police Department's Officer of the Year.

Herring was surprised with the award during the department's annual awards ceremony.

Herring has been with the Police Department for 9.5 years, serving the last four years as a detective.

"I think it's rewarding," she said.

She noted that she gets to work with children, investigating cases that involve juveniles.

Kitchens said her caseload includes cases involving physical and sexual abuse of children, which are extremely hard.

"She is a guardian of our kids in this community," he said.

Herring also said she likes the variety of working as a police officer.

Kitchens said this is the fifth year the Leavenworth Police Department has had the awards ceremony. This marked the first time a woman was named Officer of the Year.

Herring's husband, Steve, was named the first Officer of the Year when the awards were established. He is a sergeant with the department.

A number other awards were handed out during Monday's ceremony including Certificates of Appreciation to local residents who helped police officers during the last year.

Kitchens also presented the award for the Police Department's Civilian Employee of the Year. That honor went to dispatcher Tracey Comley, who's worked for the department for three years.

Kitchens said Comley, like Herring, was not honored for a single act but rather doing her job well.

"Even the small things are done well," he said.

He said she demonstrated how well she does her job during a recent high speed chase that led officers into Missouri. He said her communication with other agencies made it possible for the use of spike strips, which ended the pursuit.

The Civilian Employee of the Year award is named after Jane McDonald, a former employee of the department.