Ralph Sorrell wears many hats in the Leavenworth Police Department.

Ralph Sorrell wears many hats in the Leavenworth Police Department.

In addition to being the department's traffic sergeant, Sorrell serves as a firearms range instructor and polygraph examiner.

Sorrell's efforts were recognized Wednesday during the annual Leavenworth Police Department Awards Ceremony. He was named the department's Officer of the Year.

"It's a total shock," he said.

The police chief's secretary, Arianne Burgoon, was honored with the Civilian Employee of the Year award.

"I'm speechless," Burgoon said.

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

A number of other awards were handed out during Wednesday's ceremony. The event took place at Riverfront Community Center.

The ceremony came during National Police Week, and today is Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said anyone in the department can submit nominations for awards. For most of the awards, recipients were selected by a committee.

Kitchens said he and Deputy Chief Dan Nicodemus selected the recipients of the Civilian Employee of the Year and Officer of the Year awards.

Sorrell has been with the police department for nearly 19 years.

He's originally from Illinois and came to the Leavenworth area while serving in the Army.

Sorrell said he enjoys working in law enforcement because of the daily challenges.

"Every day is different," he said.

Sorrell also received a Police Commendation on Monday with Sgt. Derek Burleson for their work to implement the use mobile data terminals in police cars. 

Ed Gunnels, a civilian employee of the city, also was honored for his assistance with the MDTs. Gunnels was presented a Certificate of Appreciation.

Sorrell also received a Medal of Valor for his role last year in the pursuit of a murder suspect who was later apprehended in St. Joseph, Mo.

Sgt. Roger Hundley and Officers Robert Flynn, Cory Langford, Brandon Mance and Hannah McMillin also received the Medal of Valor for their roles in the case. Sgt. Brian Anderson received a Police Commendation, and dispatchers Delta Anderson and Tracey Comley were recognized with Police Achievement awards.

Burgoon has worked for the Leavenworth Police Department for 10 years. For the last four of those years, she has been in the position of the chief's secretary.

Burgoon said she loves her job.

"No two days are the same," she said.