CPF Police Officer of the Month Award Recipients
<!–The Cleveland Police Foundation – in partnership with the Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police Cleveland Lodge 8 – is proud of the Police Officer of the Month program. The program’s purpose is to recognize members of the Cleveland Division of Police who not only perform their duties in an exemplary and extraordinary manner, but also excel in efforts that are consistent with a major tenet of the CPF’s mission to strengthen the bonds between citizens and police officers… building bridges, creating opportunities for dialogue, and forging positive relationships within the community.
Already aware that officers in the Cleveland Division of Police routinely go out of their way to help their fellow citizens, committee members are not surprised by the large number of candidates. With so many outstanding officers, selecting one recipient per month proved to be a somewhat daunting task.
When asked why bestow these awards, CPF Executive Director Charles W. Lane, Jr. states, “In today’s busy world, while some deeds may seem fairly insignificant, we hold out hope that such random acts of kindness may have a significant impact on a person’s life. Even if not, it’s nice to know that our police officers do for others what they would want someone else to do for a member of their family if the opportunity presented itself.”
Police officers across this great country perform similar deeds day-in and day-out, with little fanfare and really not seeking, nor even wanting recognition. We commend these officers for their compassion and personal commitment to making our city a better place to live.–>
2017 CPF Police Officer of the Month Award Recipients
Recipients will receive a personal plaque in recognition of their good deeds, and perpetual plaques will be displayed at Cleveland Police Headquarters, the offices of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police Cleveland Lodge 8 where they will serve as an inspiration to others.
January Police Officer of the Month
Kevin Callahan, Detective, 4th Neighborhood Police District
Det. Kevin Callahan is a great example of police officers embracing the philosophy of community policing. As a missing person specialist, with most of his investigations involving children, Det. Callahan wanted to educate the school children in the 4th District about safety. To do this he visited and spoke with students and staff during their lunch period. His goal is to reach as many kids as possible with monthly visits and he continually works towards maintaining a positive relationship with the school children and staff. For his devotion to duty, especially ensuring the safety of our children, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Det. Kevin Callahan as its Police Officer of the Month for January, 2017.
February Police Officer of the Month
Sergeant Tim Higgins, Bureau of Community Policing
Sgt. Tim Higgins is a tireless advocate of the philosophy of community policing. Whether on-duty or off, he promotes its core principles by putting them into action. While directing the Cops for Kids program, he works with fellow officers throughout the City to render assistance to kids and families in need, creating positive interactions and developing lasting relationships with the community they serve. He recently organized a raffle to raise funds or the Cops for Kids program making it possible to further the Division’s community engagement and fostering goodwill. For his commitment to aiding his fellow citizens, especially our children, and for helping fellow officers forge stronger bonds with the community, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Sgt. Tim Higgins as its Police Officer of the Month for February, 2017.
March Police Officer of the Month
Robert Norman, Detective, 2nd Neighborhood Police District
Detective Robert Norman has displayed tremendous work ethic and investigation skills in his daily duties. Recently he spearheaded several investigations, including the execution of 7 search warrants which led to 20 felony drug arrests, the seizure of 9 firearms, and a large quantity of heroin and crack cocaine. Norman’s compassion for the people in the community is evident, as he is responsible for connecting the Cleveland Police Foundation with one of its most precious community partners, Onix Outreach. The team at Onix Outreach provide assistance to the underserved, responding with the resources needed to help their fellow citizens. These connections have led to an improved relationship between the police and the community they serve. For his dedication to duty and compassion for his fellow citizens, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Det. Robert Norman as its Police Officer of the Month for March, 2017.
April Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officers Christopher Eaton and Michael Ryan
While on patrol downtown Patrol Officers Christopher Eaton and Michael Ryan encountered a woman who had been kicked out of her vehicle by her husband after an argument. As she was not wearing suitable clothing for the cold weather, they offered her a ride home. While doing so, they learned the woman had been on her way to a plasma center where she had planned to donate blood in order to earn enough money to buy diapers for her child. After hearing this, they stopped at a store, purchased diapers and gave them to the women. That is just one example of the manner in which they approach their work. While assigned to the downtown event zone during the Republican National Convention, their knowledge of the area and positive communication skills made them a tremendous asset to the Event Zone Commanders. Their professionalism and compassionate service to all they encountered helped the 2016 RNC to be recognized as one of the most successful and safest in history. For caring and personal assistance to a fellow citizen in need, as well as promoting the core principles of community policing, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize POs Michael Ryan and Christopher Eaton as the Police Officers of the Month for April 2017.
May Police Officer of the Month
John Graves, Detective
Detective John Graves is a dedicated police officer who is committed to helping people in need. This past holiday season he came across a single mother of four children, including one with special needs. Believing every child deserves a merry Christmas, Graves asked the Cleveland Police Foundation along with the Cops for Kids program to provide assistance.
The CPF donated a gift card and presents, but John and his family went a step further and personally bought every child additional gifts. Not only did this gesture of kindness brighten the family’s holiday, but his efforts, along with the generous support of his family, made possible a priceless connection between the Cleveland Police and the community it serves. This is but one example of John’s compassion and long-standing efforts in giving back to the community. The Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Detective John Graves as the Police Officer of the Month for May 2017.
June Police Officer of the Month
Detective Carl Bowers (Photo Lab), Detective Michael Belle (Crime Scenes Unit) and Patrol Officer Erwin Eberhardt (Airport Unit)
For the past 16 years Detective Carl Bowers, Detective Michael Belle, and Patrol Officer Erwin Eberhardt have volunteered with the Progress With Chess Program hosted by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The program teaches students the rules of the game and gives them the skills to compete in chess as well as creating a positive interaction with members of law enforcement. The three officers were teammates on the John Adams High School chess team some 34 years ago, and they learned back then that the coaches, teachers, and volunteers were guiding them to stay on a positive path. This year, as the buses arrived for the district-wide competition, these dedicated officers greeted the nearly 600 students and directed them to the Louis Stokes wing of the downtown Cleveland Public Library. Upon completion of the matches and the handing out of trophies to the winners, the officers played some of the students in a giant version of the game and a good time was had by all. At the end of the day Detective Bowers stated, “This is a huge win for the community, big business, schools, library, and also for the Cleveland Police Department. Now that’s what I call a checkmate for the kids of Cleveland.” For their dedication and giving of their time to the youth of the community the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Det. Michael Belle, Det. Carl Bowers, and PO Erwin Eberhardt as Police Officers of the Month for June 2017.
July Police Officer of the Month
Edward Lentz, Lieutenant, 5th Neighborhood Police District
Lieutenant Edward Lentz has truly grasped the philosophy of community policing and understands the importance of helping citizens in need. Evidence of this is his assistance to the Bureau of Community Policing and the Cleveland Police Foundation (CPF). They hosted a basketball game between officers and the students at St. Francis School – the game being held to improve the relationship between the police and the community. The Lieutenant also led officers to engage the students of MC2 High School during a community picnic. He then brought the officers to the school to provide a lesson in the history of policing in Cleveland and get better acquainted.
Other activities include working with Catholic Charities and the CPF to bring new winter coats to children from refugee and needy families of the St. Aloysius Parish, and he recently brought the CPF and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health together to work on a program called Cops N Cribs. When asked about the program, Lentz stated, “Cleveland ranks #2 in the nation in infant mortality and this will allow our police officers to make referrals for new cribs and provide safety instructions when they identify a need during the course of their duties.” For his dedication to community service, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Lt. Edward Lentz as Police Officer of the Month for July 2017.
August Police Officer of the Month
Paul Fronckowiak, Patrol Officer, Canine Unit
Since 2009, when he was assigned to the Canine Unit, PO Paul Fronckowiak has participated in hundreds of community outreach and special events with his K-9 partner Benny, engaging thousands of people with his friendly demeanor, talks about safety, and Paul’s favorite topic: the great work done by Benny and fellow members of the Canine Unit. PO Fronckowiak is a certified police canine handler and a bomb technician with the CPD Bomb Squad. Benny is certified both as a patrol dog and in explosives detection. Together, they respond city-wide to assist in all five neighborhood police districts answering calls for unattended and suspicious packages, tracking suspects, performing building searches and helping locate missing persons. They also do security sweeps of venues for special events.
Whenever called upon, they have enthusiastically participated in events that engage the public, representing the CPD and Canine Unit in a most exemplary manner. Perhaps Cleveland Police Foundation Liaison Officer Captain Keith Sulzer stated it best: “Paul is available for all the Cleveland Police Foundation and Community Policing events at a moment’s notice. He and Benny go the extra mile to be engaging, entertaining and informative. There are few encounters that put a bigger smile on your face than seeing Paul and Benny interact with children.” When advised of that statement, PO Fronckowiak quipped, “Benny does the hard part; I’m just the chauffeur.” For his devotion to duty and to the philosophy of community policing, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Patrol Officer Paul Fronckowiak as its Police Officer of the Month for August 2017.
September Police Officer of the Month
Hughlean Medlea, Sue Sazima, Pat Katynski, Dymphna O’Neill, Mark Shepard and Zina Martinez, Second District Baby Shower
The Second District Baby Shower has been around for many years and benefits many needy families. This program had its beginning when Sgt. Hughlean Medlea (now retired) posted a flyer that the 2nd District was holding a baby shower. It didn’t take long for other officers to join the effort and the donations began to pour in. Several ideas of who would benefit from the baby shower were discussed and the officers agreed on Providence House. The work they were doing to save lives and take care of the precious little ones from across the City of Cleveland was exemplary.
The first baby shower was held in April 2000 and only included the 2nd District officers and their families. But the program expanded and today includes the entire department and community. Over the years these dedicated officers have received donations from North Carolina and Colorado, Walmart and Old Navy in Steelyard Commons, and BJ’s Wholesale Club. It should be noted that the officers have donated their own funds to this amazing program and are quick to thank Captain Keith Sulzer and the 2nd District Community Relations Committee for their assistance in making this program a success. On October 14, 2017 the 2nd District Baby Shower will celebrate its 17th year and hopefully many more to come.
It is because of their dedication to this very worthy cause that the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize Hughlean Medlea, Sue Sazima, Pat Katynski, Dymphna O’Neill, Mark Shepard and Zina Martinez as Police Officers of the Month for September 2017.
October Police Officer of the Month
Antonio Andino, Patrol Officer, 4th Neighborhood Police District
According to his immediate supervisors, PO Antonio Andino is an exemplary police officer who engages in community policing on a daily basis. Part of his approach to policing the community is accomplished in a unique way. Before becoming an officer he worked as a barber – and now donates his time to the kids in the 4th District by giving them professional haircuts because he feels in order to excel in school you have to look sharp. He gave haircuts to students at Charles Dickens Elementary during a recent community event, “Literacy in the Hood,” and all the kids left with confidence and smiles on their faces.
When asked about PO Andino and his efforts, Lt. Brian McEntee of the 4th District stated, “He is an excellent officer and besides donating his time to giving haircuts, he likes to engage the community and promotes citizen and police officer interaction. He is a true community policing officer and is an invaluable asset to the Cleveland Division of Police.” For his commitment to the community and especially to our children the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize PO Antonio Andino as the Police Officer of the Month for October 2017.
November Police Officer of the Month
Vickie Przybylski, Patrol Officer, 4th Neighborhood Police District
While on patrol in the Fourth District, PO Vickie Przybylski responded to a call for a stolen bicycle. Upon arrival, she learned that the bike belonged to a five year old child, who had just received it the week before. Przybylski interviewed the family and then took action. She got on her phone, called a local Walmart store, and explained the situation. A short time later, Walmart made the decision to donate a brand new bike to the young child, made happy once again!
During her time with the Cleveland Division of Police, P.O. Przybylski has always been there to help others and has a great compassion for children. She has been known to give out stickers and stuffed animals to kids as well as reach out to social service organizations when she comes across families in need. Over the years she has organized fundraisers for injured officers and cooked full Thanksgiving dinners for her shift, and she spends her free time with her family in addition to running a Girl Scout troop and partaking in activities with her church. For her dedication to the community and especially our children, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize P.O. Vickie Przybylski as its Police Officer of the Month for November 2017.
December Police Officer of the Month
Doug Nichols, Patrol Officer, Canine Unit
Patrol Officer Doug Nichols has been a member of the Cleveland Division of Police Canine Unit since 2013. He also serves the City of Cleveland by being a member of the Police Bomb Squad and Dive Team. P.O. Nichols and his K-9 partner Hugo, along with the other members of the Canine Unit, have participated in forty-plus community engagements. They have reached over 6,500 people-mostly children-through the Community Policing Unit, Cleveland area schools, and various media events.
P.O. Nichols and Hugo are a yearly hit at the Cops and Kids Fishing Outing sponsored by the Cleveland Police Foundation. Doug makes it a point to interact with the children and answer all their questions.
When asked about P.O. Nichol’s work ethics, Sergeant Tim Maffo-Judd stated “Officer Doug Nichols always goes beyond the call every time he assists me, even on his own time, and always goes the extra mile for the community.”
For his dedication and devotion to the community he serves, the Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to recognize P.O. Doug Nichols as its Police Officer of the Month for December 2017.