Clawson Police Department honors officers, civilians for excellence

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published January 23, 2018

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CLAWSON/TROY — In 2017, the Clawson Police Department had some “pretty good stuff,” according to Police Chief Harry Anderson.

During the Jan. 13 Clawson City Council meeting, Anderson handed out departmental awards for going above and beyond the call of duty, as determined by a three-person award committee.

Officer Paul Darr received the 2017 Officer of the Year award, signified by a certificate and a gold bar to wear on his uniform. The honor was a unanimous decision by the Police Department Awards Board.

Anderson said Darr, an 11-year veteran of the force, is described by his peers as “hardworking, dependable, conscientious, considerate and compassionate.” He said Darr chooses to work the midnight shift, and his positive attitude and “unique” sense of humor help to lighten intense situations.

“If you know Paul, he’s a great guy,” Anderson said. “He always does the extra duties and has this way of looking at the good in people and situations.”

He said Darr is fourth in the department in arrests, and that he recently became certified as the third member of the department to join the South Oakland County Crash Investigation Team, which responds to serious crash investigations. 

“It’s very common for Paul to be on another run, especially one involving an elderly person, and Paul will see something going on in the house. After he takes care of the person, he’ll take the effort to fix something for that person out of the goodness of his heart,” he said. “His actions help to make our Police Department a better place to be.”

Darr said he was honored to receive the award.

“It’s emotional for me,” he said. “It means a lot for me. I just have an easygoing personality. I always find the fun in the job, find fun with people. It’s about fairness. That’s what I bring: trying to have fun at work and keeping it fair.”

Darr and Steve Haley, another midnight shift officer, each received a departmental citation, signified by a certificate and a blue-white-blue bar to wear on their uniform , for their efforts in apprehending an armed robbery suspect at Kona Grill, 30 E. Big Beaver Road in Troy.

At approximately 11:51 p.m. Oct. 29, Troy dispatch advised that victims reported hearing gunshots, that the suspect yelled, “Where is it?” and that the alleged gunman was inside the building heading toward the manager’s office.

Anderson said Darr was first to arrive on the scene, followed shortly by Haley.

“When Paul was standing there, there was an individual outside of the restaurant wearing a dark trench coat, carrying a duffel bag with something in his arms,” he said. “Paul yelled at the individual to stop and identify himself, and the subject initially started to duck down in some bushes, and then took off on foot across the lot.”

He said Darr sustained minor injuries jumping over the bushes and pursued the suspect on foot across Livernois Avenue. Shortly after, he said, Haley arrived and the pair assisted Troy police in taking the man into custody.

Police later learned that the duffel bag contained a large sum of cash, and the item in his hands, recovered from the bushes, was a sawed-off shotgun.

“These guys handled themselves with professionalism,” Anderson said. “Because of their testimony and identification of the gun, the subject was arrested for armed robbery and taken off the street.”

Midnight shift police officer Darryl Adams, Darr, Detective Lt. Scott Sarvello and Anderson each received a commendation, signified with a certificate, for their part in an early morning report of an allegedly suicidal subject on Hendrickson Boulevard, west of Rochester Road.

At approximately 4:21 a.m. May 20, Anderson said, the officers helped to establish a perimeter and limited communication with the individual to keep him calm while additional help could come.

“Detective Lt. Sarvello got a hold of him and talked to him at length, doing all sorts of different things at the scene to calm him down, and finally he came out of the house without harming himself and without anybody getting hurt,” Anderson said. “If everybody wasn’t there doing the great work they were doing, it might have had a different outcome.”

William and Courtney Peach each received a civilian citation, signified by a certificate, for helping police locate and identify a suspect for operating while intoxicated in the area of 14 Mile Road and Bywood Avenue. It was the suspect’s third such offense.

At approximately 9:59 p.m. June 6, Clawson police responded to a report of a woman running after a man and screaming at him.

“They observed the vehicle turn down 14 Mile Road,” Anderson said. “They stayed around, provided witness statements and identified the driver. … Mr. Peach came to the exam for it and did an excellent job testifying, and because his testimony was so good and rock solid, the suspect pled guilty as charged at the exam.”

Clawson Mayor Deborah Wooley said the Clawson police officers are a “great group.”

“They’re a pleasure to have in the city and engage with the community. I know many have a baseball bat in their cars and play catch with the kids in the parks and develop relationships,” she said. “It makes a big difference in a community like this, so thank you very much.”

The Clawson Police Department has 17 sworn officers and two civilian officers, Anderson said.

To submit a commendation for review by the Police Department Awards Board, fill out a form at the Police Department, located at 425 N. Main St.

For more information, call the Clawson Police Department at (248) 435-5000.