Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens provided statistics that there are more than 900,000 law enforcement officers now serving in the United States and about 12 percent of those are female.
One of those females is Sgt. Wendy Cook, who was named Officer of the Year during the Leavenworth Police Department’s annual awards ceremony at the Riverfront Community Center.
“This makes me feel humble,” said Cook, who has been a police officer for 13 years. “There are 50 (other officers) here tonight that deserve this just as much as me.”
Kitchens said that Cook was honored for “coming to work every day and doing the job of policing.”
The Civilian Employee of the Year award went to Melba Hommertzheim, a secretary for the Detective Division.
Kitchens said the Civilian Employee of the Year award isn’t necessarily given for heroic acts but mostly for “just doing their job.”
The awards ceremony was held during National Police Week, established in 1962 to recognize the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement professionals.
About 40 police officers, staff members and civilians were honored for their work and service to law enforcement during Wednesday’s awards ceremony.
Kitchens spoke about the award winners’ efforts and presented each of them plaques for their work, including arrest commendations, investigation commendations, community service and life-saving efforts.
Several police officers were recognized multiple times for their performances in the course of their work.
In addition to the award winners, Kitchens said he wanted to “thank all of you for your efforts.”
Kitchens also recognized family members of the police officers who “make sacrifices too.”
Kitchens said that 154 police officers were killed in the United States last year, including several in the Kansas City area.
He said National Police Week is a fitting time to recognize those who died while serving in law enforcement.
Police Arrest Commendation
Stephen Herring, Ceara Barker, Paul Bohannon, Cole Brummer, Laura Flynn, Sean Flynn, Derek Garver, Danny Hall, Ryan Hoppe, LaCarol Kennedy, Sarah Moreno, Tesh St. John, Ezekiel Stevenson, Sean Swisshelm, Heather Vogel, Neil Vogel, Noah Wooten
Police Investigation Commendation
Pat Kitchens, Cole Brummer, Laura Flynn, LaCarol Kennedy, Brandon Mance, Sarah Moreno, Matthew Nickel, Steeli Norton, Ward Richards, Sean Swisshelm, Heather Vogel
Police Life Saving
Elijah Bagley, Jacqueline Cormier
Letter of Commendation
Seth Barfoot, Charles Burkhardt, Ronnie Scott, Bobby Washington
Police Recognition Award
Elijah Bagley, Shana Baragary, Paul Bohannon, Bradley Brandon, Jasmin Crowder, Roberta Eddy, Laura Flynn, Sean Flynn, Kelly Fricke, Derek Garver, Danny Hall, Robert Haney, Benjamin Heath, Tammy Herken, Peridot Lucas, Kevin Metzgar, Sarah Moreno, Matthew Phillips, Ward Richards, Ezekiel Stevenson, Sean Swisshelm, Noah Wooten