Shelby police host annual awards ceremony

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 27, 2016

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On March 30, the Shelby Township Police Department honored many of its members and several residents for quick thinking, heroic actions and professionalism.

“This is a very exciting day for many of our officers,” Police Chief Robert Shelide said during the annual awards ceremony at the township municipal building. “Our heroes are acknowledged on this day.”

Shelide said the decision-making process about who would receive which award — especially the officer, command officer and non-sworn employee of the year — was difficult for him and Deputy Chief Mark Coil because many department members were very deserving.

Leslie Heisler won the 2015 Police Officer of the Year award for her work establishing the Police Department’s presence on social media. The department’s Facebook page especially took off, and Shelide said residents are always coming into the building with gifts and food to show their appreciation.

“Now these people have a channel to contact us and touch us and reach out,” he said. “Leslie keeps them updated on everything that goes on in the Police Department on a daily basis. She took a vision of mine and took it to the next level. The results are astounding.”

Shelide also praised Heisler’s efforts as the department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer, and he highlighted an instance in which she established a healing connection with a girl who had lost her baby sister in a car accident.

“(Receiving the Officer of the Year award) took me by total surprise, and it was an amazing honor,” Heisler said. “There’re so many people that do so much stuff around here. The chief is so into being in touch and transparent, and we’re lucky to have him here because he’s really made things happen that should’ve happened 10 years ago.”

Sgt. Gregory Neubacher won the 2015 Command Officer of the Year award not for any particular act, but for his ongoing professionalism, high moral character and exemplary behavior in all areas of police supervision, Shelide said.

Administrative Secretary Marian Carmignani won the 2015 Non-Sworn Employee of the Year award for her attention to detail and work ethic, as well as her coordination of training, ceremonies and programs.

“Marian is a tremendous asset in the day-to-day operation of the department,” Shelide said. “I’ve never seen anyone in my life and 30 years on the job work like this woman does. In any profession, she would have been a superstar.”

Shelide presented Heisler, Neubacher and Carmignani with a Chief’s Coin of Excellence award. He said he had the coins commissioned and gives them out sparingly for exceptional performance.

The department gave out a total of six civilian awards, eight letters of commendation, three communication technician letters of commendation, five unit meritorious awards, 11 unit letters of commendation, one meritorious award, two commendation awards, eight unit meritorious citations and two second-degree lifesaving awards.

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