Public safety officers given honors at annual banquet

Special
Shown at the banquet are Ellen Shelley (from left), Steven Miano, Rich Koblin, Wilson Dandy, Hubert Pridgen and Robert Ramos.

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 sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.

AWARD WINNERS

CITIZEN COMMENDATION: Glenn Stringfield

LETTERS OF APPRECIATION:

Leonard Schodowski

Gerry Pearson

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

Greg Carter

Capt. Richard Abney

Detective Keith Glover

Sgt. Matt Braxton

Sgt. Craig Burgess

Officer Mike Grabowski

LIFESAVING AWARDS:

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