AIKEN --- Aiken police officers felt the love at their agency's recent annual awards banquet.
Dozens of officers and firefighters were honored at the May 16 dinner, held by the Aiken Department of Public Safety to single out those who went above and beyond the call of duty.
This year's Officer of the Year is a longtime member of the police department who works in downtown Aiken.
Sgt. Wilson Dandy was an "excellent selection by his fellow officers, his peers," said public safety Chief Pete Frommer.
"Wilson's been here with us 25-plus years," he sad. ... "The merchants downtown love him. He feels part of the downtown family."
Officers and public safety supervisors submitted nominations for the award categories, and a selection committee chose the winners.
The categories also include the Life Saving Award, given to first responders who saved people "who were dead when they got there, and they used the defibrillators and CPR and brought them back to life," Chief Frommer said.
Five public safety workers won that distinction.
The department gave the Rookie of the Year award to Officer Steven Miano, who used to "hang around the department" when he was a student at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
The officer went through the agency's cadet program, Chief Frommer said, and then the police academy.
Officer Miano, he said, is "an example of what a new, young officer should be."
Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or email@example.com.
CITIZEN COMMENDATION: Glenn Stringfield
LETTERS OF APPRECIATION:
Detective Kirk Owen
CERTIFICATES OF COMMENDATION:
Sgt. Clay Adams, Aiken County Sheriff's Office
Lt. Phil Kestin
Lt. David Turno
Officer Penny Stanford
Cpl. Chris Medlin
Lt. Ricky Turner
Lt. Bryan Mills
Cpl. Keith Herring
Capt. Richard Abney
Detective Keith Glover
Sgt. Matt Braxton
Sgt. Craig Burgess
Officer Mike Grabowski
Driver Operator Chris Williams
Driver Operator Ryan Senn
Officer Matt Comer
Officer B.J. Clark
Driver Operator Barry Brooks
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR: Rich Koblin
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Officer Steven Miano
THE NOVA AWARD: Driver Operator Robert Ramos
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD: Ellen Shelley
EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Hubert Pridgen
OFFICER OF THE YEAR: Sgt. Wilson Dandy