CPF Police Officer of the Month Award Recipients
2020 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.
December Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officer Mark Williams
Patrol Officer Mark Williams of the Cleveland Division of Police First District has been a basic patrol officer for his entire career and totally understands the importance of giving back to the community!
One day while on patrol, Officer Williams saw a young child pedaling a bike in his yard and not going anywhere. Upon further observation, he saw that the bike was missing the rear wheel. There were several other children playing in the yard and a couple of broken tricycles and bicycles lying around – none of which were rideable. Officer Williams went to his residence, picked up two tricycles he had at home, gave them to the kids and stated he would return in the near future with bikes for the others.
The next day the officer placed a request for bikes on Facebook and contacted Pastor Justin from his church (Grace Baptist of Brunswick Ohio) and within one week he was able to deliver seven bikes for the children. Officer Mark along with now retired Captain Keith Sulzer, were also instrumental in providing over two hundred bikes to our city’s refugees at the Gateway West Church on Triskett Road. Additionally, in his spare time Williams has been one of the officers that has maintained and equipped the First District gym.
It is because of his dedication and devotion to the community he serves and his fellow officers that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officer Mark Williams its Police Officer of the Month for December 2020.
November Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officers John Boumis, Ryan Corrigan, John McCartney, and Daniel Piper
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has put the police officer-to-citizen one-on-one contact to the test, four officers from the Cleveland Division of Police Fourth District proved the Community Policing concept is alive and well!
These four outstanding police officers went beyond the call of duty. Recently while on patrol, Officers John Boumis and Daniel Piper were flagged down by an East 68th Street resident. This citizen was visibly upset because her home was struck by a car several days beforehand and she couldn’t afford to have all the debris in front of her house and the surrounding area cleaned up. So these two officers recruited Officers Ryan Corrigan and John McCartney and they all returned to the woman’s home a few days later. Working together, they disposed of all debris and cleaned up the area for this very thankful Clevelander!
When asked about this unselfish act of kindness, Cleveland Police Fourth District Sergeant Ray O’ Connor stated, “During a time when everyone wants to focus on the negative, I feel we should shine a spotlight on this over-and-above act of Community Policing.”
It is because of this act of kindness and dedication that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officers John Boumis, Ryan Corrigan, John McCartney, and Daniel Piper as its Police Officers of the Month for November 2020.
October Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officer Brooklyn Barnes
Patrol Officer Brooklyn Barnes, although on the job for just over two years, goes out of her way on a daily basis to engage with the community!
In November 2019 while on patrol in the Fourth District, PO Barnes came across some kids playing football. She decided to join them in the game and a bonding friendship began. Officer Barnes learned that the children all lived in a nearby foster home. They asked if she would come back to visit again so she made it a point to do that whenever her workload allowed.
During one of her visits, Officer Barnes learned that the little guy named “Peanut” had a birthday coming up and never had a party. The officer made it her mission to go on her day off and surprise him with a huge celebration. Using donations from family and friends to rent a bounce house and provide a birthday cake, she also invited members of the CPD Mounted and Motorcycle Units to the party. Barnes gave presents to not just Peanut but to all the other children so they didn’t feel left out!
When asked why she decided to do this she stated, “I love these kids like they are my own and I wanted to show them that police officers are their friends and care about them.”
It is because of her dedication and devotion to her profession and belief in the Community Policing concept that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officer Brooklyn Barnes its Police Officer of the Month for October 2020.
September Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officer Rashawn Rahim
Patrol Officer Rashawn Rahim of the CPD Community Relations Unit had a dream growing up. Young Rashawn wanted to become a Cleveland Police Officer. So he joined and completed the Law Enforcement Explorer Program to make that dream a reality!
The Cleveland Police Law Enforcement Explorer Program is designed to introduce youth aged 14 through 20 years old to the police profession. The young participants develop the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the field of policing. After six years with the Cleveland Division of Police, PO Rahim is now in charge of the Explorer Program. Rahim anxiously awaits the end of the COVID-19 crisis so he can continue to recruit members so they too can join the ranks of the CPD.
When asked about Officer Rahim, his immediate supervisor Sergeant Tim Higgins stated, “Officer Rashawn Rahim is an outstanding officer that takes his job seriously and works well with our youth who have the ambition and drive to become police officers and he is well-deserving of this recognition.”
It is because of his dedication and devotion to his profession that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officer Rashawn Rahim its Police Officer of the Month for September 2020.
Editor’s Note: Anyone interested in the Cleveland Police Law Enforcement Explorer Program can reach Officer Rashawn Rahim at 216-623-5080 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
August Police Officer of the Month
Lieutenant Ed Lentz
Lieutenant Ed Lentz is the first CPF POM repeat winner! In July 2017, the Lieutenant was named POM for his community policing efforts. These included working with Catholic Charities to bring winter coats to children in need and helping the CPF and Cuyahoga Board of Health to coordinate Cops N Cribs, a program to provide cribs and education to underprivileged families.
This month, Lieutenant Lentz is being honored for noticing a house fire in the Tremont area and taking immediate action. After he notified dispatch of the fire and his intention to make an entry, Lentz kicked in the door and proceeded. The home was fully engulfed in flames when he noticed a dog shaking on the couch, frozen in fear. The Lieutenant grabbed the dog, “Jethro,” and handed him to a citizen who helped the dog out of the house. Lieutenant Lentz then exited the home and made sure the cars on this narrow street were moved to allow access for the arriving Cleveland Fire Companies.
The firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze with no reported injuries. The cause was determined to be accidental-electrical.
It is because of his dedication and devotion to the community of which he serves that the Cleveland Police Foundation once again honors this Hero in Blue and is proud to name Lieutenant Ed Lentz its Police Officer of the Month for August 2020.
Editor’s note: Remember to keep space clear around air conditioner units and dehumidifiers and ensure they are plugged directly into a grounded wall socket, not an extension cord.
July Police Officer of the Month
P.O. Ryan Lewis, P.O. Roger Jones, and P.O. Malcom Sutton
Third District Community Engagement Officers P.O. Ryan Lewis, P.O. Roger Jones, and P.O. Malcom Sutton are outstanding. According to Third District Lieutenant John Farnsworth, “Their duties are to engage with members of the community in a positive manner, and how they complete this is open to their imagination and innovation. They sure have made a name for themselves in accomplishing these goals!”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the nation, they would reach out to the daycares and schools and speak with the kids. At Bolton Elementary they ate lunch with the K-8 students which of course opened up a dialogue in a setting that was comfortable for them. Also before the COVID-19 concern, the officers responded to the local middle and high schools for a game of kickball or basketball during the kids’ Physical Education classes.
Twice weekly, this ambitious trio checks in with their ward city council members to assist their constituents with quality of life issues. They spend countless hours at local senior centers and homeless shelters, providing another avenue for open dialogue to sections of the community who may not always see that opportunity.
It is because of their dedication and devotion to the community they serve that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officers Ryan Lewis, Roger Jones, and Malcom Sutton as its Police Officers of the Month for July 2020.
June Police Officer of the Month
Detective Todd Clemens with Wife Robin & Daughter Morgan
A different twist to the honor, Detective Todd Clemens of the Crime Scene and Records Unit is joined by his daughter Morgan and his wife Robin as awardees!!
Todd has worked in the Crimes Scene and Records Unit for about 10 years. He has processed many horrific crime scenes, and the trauma began to affect him and his family. To heal, Todd was able to take a break from his unit and began exercising at the Police Headquarters gym to relieve stress. Often his family would join him in his workouts. It was at this time that 14-year old Morgan noticed a large number of homeless people in the downtown area.
Morgan approached her father about wanting to do something to help the homeless and Todd suggested a hot, home cooked meal. The first dinner Morgan and the family made was ham, mashed potatoes, corn, bread, a dessert and beverage. The family packed up 10 meals and Todd and Robin drove Morgan to some of the homeless camps so she personally could deliver them. The following week Morgan increased her meals to 20. Thanks to generous donations from friends, family, and the Cleveland Police Foundation, Morgan, Todd, and Robin have been delivering meals for nearly 7 weeks. Morgan wanted to do more, so she added deliveries to the sick, elderly, and shut-ins. The family has raised enough money to continue to prepare and deliver delicious meals for the next several weeks, and of course Morgan insists on continuing to deliver meals on a weekly basis. Thank you to Todd, Robin, and Morgan for helping us witness love and compassion during a very difficult time!!
It is because of this giving and charity shown to the community that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Detective Todd Clemens, with his wife Robin and daughter Morgan, as its Police Officer of the Month for June 2020.
May Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officer Lakisha Harris
Patrol Officer Lakisha Harris is the full-time training coordinator for the Cleveland Division of Police Fifth District but still manages to find time for numerous community policing projects.
Throughout and around the district, Officer Harris has participated in food giveaways and provides security for the Cleveland Food Bank to ensure their giveaways are fair and orderly. On one day in particular, Officer Harris worked over her assigned time without a break to ensure that the food bank handed out the maximum amount of food, even after the event had ended.
When asked about Officer Harris’ work ethics, Lieutenant Marcus Montanaro stated “As you know with our current state of emergency, it is nearly impossible to spend time with the elderly of our community. However, Officer Harris has donated her hard-earned money as well as her time in securing toiletries and cleaning supplies for events like the 100 Goodie Bag donation drive benefiting seniors of the Margaret Wagner House. In addition to helping the elderly, Lakisha is now spending her time and resources to obtain future donations to help infants and toddlers at the Jane Hunter Social Services Center. Even though Officer Lakisha has a full-time position as training coordinator, she still manages to find time to do all of the above and much, much more.”
It is because of her dedication to the community she serves that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officer Lakisha Harris as its Police Officer of the Month for May 2020.
April Police Officer of the Month
P.O. Carmen Hall, P.O. Crystal Lewis, and P.O. Antonio Andino
Fourth District Community Engagement Officers P.O. Carmen Hall, P.O. Crystal Lewis, and P.O. Antonio Andino are exceptional. These officers have done some very innovative and creative projects to help create a better relationship between Cleveland police officers and the community served. They are always looking for different avenues to bring together officers and the community and they always have a smile and a great deal of energy wherever they go!
Fourth District Lieutenant Steve Cornacchione says: “The Fourth District CEOs have come up with new and exciting ways to reach the community here in the Fourth District. P.O. Lewis and P.O. Andino started a lunch program that brings together neighborhood officers and students, allowing the kids to interact with the officers. We all know that the younger kids always want to see the officers’ equipment, so they made police vests with real Junior Police badges that the kids can try on. A unicycle club was started at one of the local schools, Eastside Arts Academy. This is run by P.O. Carmen Hall.”
“The CEOs have set up dinners with community groups featuring a question and answer session with officers focusing on bridging the gap so we as a community can better understand each other. They have made inroads with two high schools–JFK and John Adams–to start getting engagement opportunities between officers and students. Lastly, during these times of social distancing they have continued to reach out to citizens by utilizing social media and continuing to forward complaints to officers in the field.”
“Officers Lewis and Andino have been helping maintain morale by setting up meals for their Fourth District family as well as making sure supplies are getting to them in a timely manner. These are just some of the things that the Fourth District CEOs do on a daily basis.”
It is because of this dedication to bringing the community and police officers together that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officers Antonio Andino, Carmen Hall, and Crystal Lewis as its Police Officers of the Month for April 2020.
March Police Officer of the Month
Sergeant Teresa Gomez
Sergeant Teresa Gomez is a twenty-three-year veteran with the Cleveland Division of Police and has been assigned to the Homicide Unit for approximately one year. In this short time, she has quickly made an impact!
Sergeant Gomez helped create a waiting room that not just benefits the Division of Police but also the community at large. This waiting room, now called the Grace Leon Room, came to fruition with support from the folks at Blue Line Services, who donated items and their time. Gomez felt it necessary that the family of victims have a warm, comforting and calming room as they deal with the loss of their loved one. She firmly believes that reciprocity with the community begins with building and establishing trust.
Sergeant Gomez continued to look for ways to enhance the services that the Homicide Unit could offer the community. When in California on vacation, she went to the Los Angeles and San Diego Police Department Homicide Units to generate ideas, using her own time and resources to go above and beyond the call of duty. To make Cleveland police more efficient and effective, the sergeant helped create a state of the art conference room, called the HUTT (Homicide Unit Think Tank). The HUTT Room benefits not just the detectives of the homicide unit but is open to the families, witnesses and attorneys. Most recently the HUTT room was made available for the Public Safety Partnership (PSP) as they conducted their interviews. Both the Grace Leon Room and HUTT Room became a reality through the persistence of Sergeant Gomez.
Sergeant Teresa Gomez does not take no for an answer! She considers it a challenge to bring about positive changes within the Cleveland Division of Police!!
Lieutenant Ali Pillow from the Homicide Unit says of Gomez, “Under Sergeant Gomez, the Homicide Unit has changed procedures that had been in place for over twenty years. These changes include case files, case tracking, assignment logs and the filing system. These changes have assisted detectives with their organization and assisted supervisors with the review of investigations. Sergeant Gomez was able to implement these changes without disrupting the unit’s heavy workload.”
It is because of her dedication to the Cleveland Division of Police and the community she serves that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Sergeant Teresa Gomez as its Police Officer of the Month for March 2020.
February Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officer Gerson Martinez
Patrol Officer Gerson Martinez is a 26-year veteran of the Cleveland Division of Police, assigned to the Westside Market for the last five years. In addition to his security duties there, he serves as Goodwill Ambassador to the tens of thousands of residents and visitors that yearly flock to this Cleveland landmark.
Officer Martinez does volunteer work at La Iglesia de Dios (The Church of God) where his father was pastor. Gerson also plays drums three days a week in the church choir.
Early in his career, Officer Martinez was chosen out of approximately 200 officers to work in the Residential Area Policing Program. RAPP, as it was known, was an effort to assign officers to specific neighborhoods to work closely with at-risk youths. More recently, Gerson volunteered to work with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital on their Car Seat Safety program. In that role, Gerson helps to educate the public on infant car seat safety and installation.
When asked about Officer Martinez, Second District Commander Thomas Stacho stated, “Officer Gerson Martinez is humble, polite, soft-spoken, dedicated and is the very embodiment of a professional police officer.”
It is because of his diligence to duty and dedication to the community he serves that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officer Gerson Martinez as its Police Officer of the Month for February 2020.
January Police Officer of the Month
Patrol Officer Jeff Petkac
Officer Jeff Petkac is assigned to the Third District Safety Patrol where he is not only committed to the Community Policing concept but is always first to volunteer his time to assist those in need.
Officer Petkac also likes working with the children in the community and has assisted with the Cops & Kids program since 2006 and the Cleveland Police Athletic League since 2010. When asked about his involvement with the kids in the community Officer Petkac stated, “We did more than just ‘give out toys’ during the Christmas season – we also bought school supplies for needy kids, and a bike, helmet and lock for a young boy who had his bike stolen. We even delivered a washer and dryer to a family in need whose kids were being picked on because of their dirty clothes. I have to say the ‘things’ we gave away were nice but the positive interaction we had with the kids is what meant (and continues) to mean the most to me.”
When asked about Officer Petkac, Executive Director of the Cleveland PAL Bob Kumazec stated, “Jeff has been a loyal and dedicated volunteer for over 14 years and has sacrificed his time and many times his own funds to help the less fortunate in our community.”
It is because of his dedication to the community that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Patrol Officer Jeff Petkac as its Police Officer of the Month for January 2020.