The Farmville Police Department held their annual Law Enforcement Awards Banquet on Thursday, January 25th. The following awards were given:
Certificate of Commendation : Officer Jeff Davis
For his outstanding performance and leadership in the organization of Operation Blue Christmas. Because of Officer Davis’s efforts in organizing this years event 12 children were provided with $200 and were able to spend the morning shopping for Christmas with Police Officers, members of Social Services and members of Farmville Police Departments Citizen Advisory Board.
Citizen Recognition and Appreciation Certificate: Patti Cooper-Jones
The Citizen Recognition and Appreciation Certificate is awarded by the Chief of Police or his designee to a citizen of the community for demonstrable measurable and verifiable acts or deeds of significant service in support of the department’s mission or service to the community as a whole. The award is a certificate noting the significance of the event and is mounted on a plaque for presentation. This award is for nonmembers of the department.
“S. O. Dunnavant” DUI Award: Officer Jordan Seay-Allen and Officer Charles Kincheloe
The D.U.I. Enforcement Award is named in honor, and in memory, of former Farmville Police Chief Stuart O. Dunnavant. The award recognizes the department member who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the prevention, detection, and enforcement of the driving under the influence laws, and for ensuring the safety of the general public by removing impaired drivers from the streets of the Town of Farmville.
“Otto S. Overton” Meritorious Service Award: Detective Sergeant David Ragland
The Meritorious Service Award is named in honor and memory of former Farmville Police Chief Otto S. Overton. The award is for department members who demonstrate exceptional service to the community and to particular task or assignments. This is the fourth highest award the department can bestow on a member and is accompanied by a certificate. The recipient of this award will automatically be placed into the pool of officers to be selected as Officer of the year for the upcoming year.
On June 24th, 2017, officers from the Farmville Police Department responded to an altercation on South Virginia Street in which two juvenile subjects had been shot. As the Special Operations Lieutenant and on call Detective for the week, I was notified of the situation and responded from my residence. Before I arrived on scene, Detective Sergeant Ragland, who was working an extra duty assignment at the hospital, responded and began conducting an investigation. When I arrived on scene, Detective Sergeant Ragland was processing the crime scene and interviewing on scene witnesses. I responded to the hospital and interviewed the two juvenile victims. Based on the lack of information provided by the victims and their lack of cooperation, I could tell from past experience that this would prove to be a difficult investigation.
In the following hours, days, and weeks, Detective Sergeant Ragland conducted many interviews, submitted an enormous amount of evidence and followed up on information he obtained during his initial investigation. The investigation led us to Oxford North Carolina where the weapon used in the shooting was located. The case was cleared with the arrests of both juvenile victims and an adult offender. Not stopping with these arrests, Detective Sergeant Ragland continued to question witnesses and ultimately made an arrest for a burglary that occurred several months before, which was the underlying cause of the shooting. Judging by past observations, it is my opinion that when cases like this go unsolved, the situation continues to escalate. It is my belief that had the arrests in this case not been made, this situation would have festered to a point where lives may have been lost.
This is just one example that demonstrates the tenacity of Detective Sergeant Ragland when it comes to criminal investigations. This is the “excellence in public service” that allows us to provide a safe and secure community, thus accomplishing our Mission Statement.
Officer of the Year Award: Detective Sammy Entrekin
The Officer of the year status is awarded to an officer who has been voted upon by the Command Staff. Nominations for this award are submitted by Supervisors to the Chief of Police in writing Submissions include factors supporting the nomination such as community Involvement, commitment to the agency, superior performance with a specific difficult task and/or a complete and consistent body of work throughout the year that exceeds normal expectations. Recipients of the “Otto S. Overton” Meritorious Service Award during the year will be automatically considered for the Officer of the Year award, however will not be the sole qualifying factor. Submissions will be reviewed by command Staff to determine which officer has exhibited excellence in their position and has gone above and beyond the call of duty. This is the third highest award the department can bestow on a member and is accompanied by a uniform pin that may be worn throughout the year. The Officer of the Year recipient will also be the Departments nominee to receive the VFW Law Enforcement Award.
Just like last year there a several of our officers that have done exceptional work and performed “above and beyond” their normal duties, however, only one can receive this award.
Last year Detective Entrekin received the Otto S. Overton Meritorious Service award, therefore automatically placing him into the pool of officers to be selected as Officer of the year for this year.
Detective Entrekin continued to be a hard worker and has produced many quality cases. In the past year, he has been assigned several lengthy and complicated cases. One in particular was the Mattresses on Main case. Although not the most difficult one that has come along, this case had many victims who did not live in Farmville. Detective Entrekin coordinated with reporting officers to have his contact information given to any future victims and reports were made directly to him, helping to eliminate some of the paperwork for patrol. He has and continues to maintain contact with the many victims and answer any questions they have. He even coordinated the delivery of a safe that belonged to the owner of the building that the suspect had given away.
Detective Entrekin continues to manage his criminal investigations well while at the same time coordinating and assisting with many of the department’s community relations programs. Detective Entrekin continues to put together a First Responder Camp for the town’s youth and has taken a leading role in the department’s Citizens Police Academy.
In selecting the Officer of the Year it is important to me to look at not only what one is doing within the Department, but what they also do outside of the department that directly reflects on the individual as a member of this department. Outside of the Department Sammy continues to be involved in many civic organizations. He has served as the past president of the NWTF and organizes the wheelin sportsman event for handicap hunter’s individuals each year. Sammy also assist the QDMA with various hunts for children and also wounded warriors. He serves as a deacon with Pisgah church in Rice. Most of all, he is a dedicated family man and I know his wife Shannon, Daughter Becky, and son Patrick, are so very proud of him tonight.
With each of these tasks, Detective Entrekin works toward carrying out the mission statement of the Farmville Police Department by providing a safe and secure community through excellence in public service.