Honor guard, accreditation work distinguish Farmington Officer of the Year

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published May 28, 2019

 Matt Miracle

Matt Miracle

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FARMINGTON — At a ceremony where over 50 awards were presented, Officer Matt Miracle walked away with the night’s highest honor: 2018 Public Safety Officer of the Year.

The Farmington Public Safety Department’s annual awards and citation banquet was held May 16 at the Freedom Gateway Center.

Farmington Public Safety Director Frank Demers said recognizing Miracle with the award was a “clear choice,” given his direct work with the department’s accreditation from the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.

The MACP accreditation application is a process police departments go through to determine whether, and in turn ensure, they are operating at the highest level of professionalism and proficiency within their daily operations, policies and procedures.

“The critical part of the accreditation process is identifying the accreditation manager, and Officer Miracle quickly agreed to assume that role, and he performed admirably,” said Demers. “Not having any administrative experience, he handled the project management exceptionally well. He worked well with others, gathered input from others, was able to provide detailed reports to command staff and supervisors for recommendation. … Without his lead, I don’t think we would have the success that we’ve had.”

Miracle said he was “honored and humbled at the same time.”

As an employee of the department for the last five years, Miracle didn’t only take the project management lead on the accreditation process; he also maintained his position as a detective on the force and stepped into the role of patrol officer at a time when the department was faced with staffing issues due to recent retirements.

Demers said Miracle demonstrated an exceptional ability to handle everything on his plate and wear three hats at once.

“His time management between the accreditation program, working road patrol and working in the detective unit was really something to take note of,” Demers said. “Nothing slipped. He worked consistently hard for each of those responsibilities.”

Miracle admits that juggling the responsibility of each of his roles was challenging, but he gave credit to his co-workers and the leadership of the department for providing support where it was needed.

“It was challenging to try and maintain all three positions,” Miracle said. “But honestly, we have a really good team here and everybody chipped in. Everybody had really great ideas with the process, and it was a really good team effort.

“We have a great leadership team here as well, and through their great leadership and teamwork, it helped develop me to be the officer I am today,” he added.

Miracle also was instrumental in spearheading the department’s first-ever honor guard.

The honor guard, Demers said, is a three-man uniformed unit that represents the department at a number of professional events and memorials, including police funerals, the Patriot Day ceremony, the annual police golf outing and the 9/11 memorial, among others. The honor guard also leads off many of the community parades, wearing colors and carrying the flag.

Despite these accomplishments, Miracle still believes his greatest moment at the department was simply deciding to work there.

“I had worked at two other departments prior to this, and I think it was a really good opportunity to come work for this department,” he said. “It was a great decision that I’ll always be happy with and never regret.”

Miracle said he knows the work doesn’t stop here.

“With our success of obtaining accreditation, that is a process that also needs to be renewed,” he said. “At this point, we’ve already started working toward the next accreditation timeline, so with that I’ll continue to look to advance our policies and procedures, and develop them to make us a better department for the community and our employees.”

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