It was a night for Edmonds to honor its own and say thank you to some very special men and women.
Held during National Police Week, the Annual Edmonds Police Department Awards Ceremony recognizes outstanding achievement by both citizens and officers in serving and protecting the Edmonds community. This is the 14th year that the community has come together for this ceremony.
Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan began the evening by calling to mind the deeper meaning of law enforcement service, pausing to recognize the 900,000 law enforcement officers serving across the United States, and to remember the more than 20,000 who have been killed in the line of duty since the first recorded death in 1792.
Then it was Mayor Dave Earling’s turn to speak. After thanking the police department for their “great work” and the award recipients for their commendable service, Earling drew appreciative smiles when he reiterated his commitment to restore the street crimes unit to the Edmonds Police Department. This unit had been cut in 2009 due to budgetary reasons.
A very special set of awards led off the presentations, recognizing two long-time officers for their years of faithful service. K-9 Officers Dash and Rocky, both of whom passed on this year, were honored with posthumous promotions and special granite markers provided by Beck’s Funeral Home.
The next set of awards, Citizen Service Citations, were presented to citizens who went above and beyond to assist law enforcement and help protect our community. Recipients included Adam Dulmadge who, without regard for his personal safety, single-handedly apprehended and held a hit-and-run driver until police arrived, and Christy Williams, who helped track and apprehend a drunken driver. Of particular note was Elizabeth (Betty) Evans, who for years has volunteered her time to the crime prevention unit, and later to the record-keeping efforts of the police department. “Lady Elizabeth,” as she was known within the department, was a faithful, dependable, and extremely valuable volunteer, who, according to Police spokesperson Sgt. Shane Hawley filed a “foot-tall stack of case reports each week” which over her six years with the Department amounts to “a stack of reports equivalent in height to a 27-story building.”
The next award combined a Citizen Service Citation and Letter of Commendation to recognize a very special father-daughter team. Officer Jason Robinson and daughter Camdyn Robinson, devised an innovative project to help those in the community less fortunate than themselves. Camdyn would assemble Ziploc bags of hand warmers, socks, granola bars and like items, and Jason would distribute them during the workday to those in need. Using personal funds for all these materials, the pair provided a stellar example of commitment to improving the quality of life in our community.
Additional Letters of Commendation went to Officers Nicholas Bickar and Douglas Compton for reaching out in their capacity as police officers to citizens in severe personal stress. Another went to Officer Jason Shier who was able to rescue an infant from a distraught mother who was violently swinging the baby around in a baby carrier. It was a cold night, and the child was showing signs of severe exposure, but Shier’s cool action got both the baby and mother safely to emergency services.
The award for Non-commissioned Employee of the Year went to Amy Collins for her years of service staffing the departmental office, and particularly for bringing her organizational expertise to bear in converting department records to the new county-wide records management system. Collins has also sat on various steering and development committees, been responsible for department quality control, and served as backup property officer.
Finally, the Chief David N. Stern Memorial Officer of the Year Award was given to Sgt. Mike Richardson. Named for former Chief David N. Stern, the award recognizes significant and long-term achievement and dedication. Richardson, a senior firearms instructor who constantly innovates and seeks out new effective training techniques, has this year applied this approach department-wide by spearheading an effort to revamp and clarify the police department’s mission, vision and values from top to bottom. As a result of his work, department employees at all levels have a renewed focus and clarity that they bring to the job every day, and has brought significant and noticeable improvement to the Edmonds Police Department that benefits officers, civilian staff, and the citizens it serves.
Chief Compaan ended the evening remarking that, ” This has been a special night of recognition of achievement, where we also remember those presently in our profession and those who have gone before us. We appreciate the efforts of our own employees, our fellow law enforcement officers, and of our citizens and volunteers for all that is done throughout the year to maintain our quality of life through public safety.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel