2013/2014 Awards and Recognition

On March 21, 2014, the Paducah Police Department held its 5th Annual Awards Ceremony to honor officers who have risen above their routine duties and responsibilities and provided exceptional service to the department and the citizens of Paducah. Click Awards and Recognition Criteria for a list of the possible awards and the criteria used in judging.

Awards and Recognition Recipients for 2013/2014

Chief's Award

Officer Chris Bolton, Officer Corey Willenborg, and Officer Beau Green (nominated by Capt. David White)
In November 2013 in anticipation of the awards ceremony, Officers Corey Willenborg and Beau Green submitted a memo to Capt. David White nominating Officer Chris Bolton for a Chief's Award for his work on the two-year old Junior Citizens' Police Academy. In 2012, the idea of a Junior CPA class geared toward high school students was being tossed about at a recruiting team meeting. Officer Bolton volunteered to lead the project and became the driving force behind the Department's first Junior CPA. He spent hours of his off-duty time writing and developing classes to teach the youth about the inner workings of law enforcement. The first Junior CPA class was a huge success. Capt. White expanded upon the original nomination to include Officers Willenborg and Green. "While they did an excellent job highlighting the work of their peer, they selflessly ignored their own efforts," says Capt. White. Capt. White says Officers Willenborg and Green not only helped in the day-to-day operations of the program but also have been instrumental in the behind-the-scenes logistics. He said the officers have been excellent mentors to the youth involved.

Officer Christopher BoltonOfficer Corey Willenborg Officer Beau Green

 

Gary L. Reese Award

 Capt. Don Hodgson
Capt. Donald Hodgson (nominated by Capt. Shawn Maxie)

Capt. Donald Hodgson received the Gary L. Reese Award for his work on and dedication to the Traffic Safety Incentive program.  Capt. Hodgson oversees the Traffic Enforcement Unit and the highly successful "Heads Up! Don't Be In-Text-Icated" program.  Most residents of Paducah are aware of the Paducah Police Department's Traffic Enforcement Unit.  But what many of them don't know is that the TEU is only one part of the Traffic Safety Incentive program led by Capt. Hodgson.  The program also encompasses the highly successful "Heads Up! Don't Be In-Text-Icated" program that highlights the dangers of texting and driving. The program has been presented to local schools, churches, and civic organizations and is branching out into other parts of Kentucky. In fact, Capt. Hodgson has been asked to give a presentation on the program at the Institute of Police Technology and Management in Jacksonville, FL.  Much of the success of both the TEU and the "Don't Be In-Text-Icated" program is due to the hard work and dedication of Capt. Hodgson.  He has pursued grants and worked tirelessly to book the "Don't Be In-Text-Icated" program to reach as many residents as possible, particularly young drivers.

2013 Employee of the Year

 Det. Matthew Wentworth
Det. Matthew Wentworth (nominated by Asst. Chief Brian Krueger)

Detective Matthew Wentworth was nominated for Employee of the Year by Asst. Chief Brian Krueger in consultation with Supervisory Special Agent (ATF) Brandon Harrison.  In the nomination letter Asst. Chief Krueger says, "During the course of 2013, Det. Wentworth unselfishly led and coordinated several complex investigations involving numerous violent career criminals with lengthy criminal records and routinely practiced unprecedented information sharing with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies."  To summarize Det. Wentworth's work for 2013 and moving into 2014, there were 15 search warrants executed, 36 sets of toll records, one information subpoena, 12 financial subpoenas, and seven state search warrants.  Eight arrests were made with 28 individuals ready to be indicted in 2014.  Asst. Chief Krueger says, "Det. Wentworth's 2013 performance has continually impressed senior agents within ATF and members of other law enforcement agencies.  Det. Wentworth has set superior standards for his fellow officers to learn from and follow."

Wentworth's brother, Michael, who retired from the Paducah Police Department in February 2014 also was nominated for Employee of the Year, as was Det. Jason Montgomery.

Service Commendation

Drug and Vice Enforcement Unit (DAVE) (nominated by Asst. Chief Brian Krueger)

During 2013, the Paducah Police Department Drug and Vice Enforcement Unit (DAVE) consistently and routinely demonstrated performance above and beyond their regular assignments, exceptional skill and conduct during multiple coordinated actions, and exceptional investigative work.  These actions occurred in the course of several complex and longterm federal investigations that spanned three states, involving some of the most violent cities in the country. Information related to these investigations previously was deemed critical to the active federal investigations and therefore could not be used for employee award recommendations.

Members of the DAVE unit assisted ATF and the City of Jackson, TN after learning that a drug trafficking organization operating out of Paducah brought drugs and illegal firearms to Paducah from Jackson and Chicago.  The DAVE unit conducted surveillance on one member of the drug trafficking group when he travelled to Chicago to pick up crack cocaine to distribute on the streets of Paducah. They later learned there were a total of 37 murders within a several block radius of where they had established fixed surveillance. Members of the DAVE unit continue to play a vital role in this investigation by conducting purchases of illegal narcotics, obtaining and/or executing search warrants, and gathering evidence. Their part in the investigation resulted in the arrest of upper tier members of the drug trafficking organization.  The Unit continues to help expand the investigation into 2014.  It is anticipated 10 to 15 indictments will result this year because of the work the DAVE Unit did in 2013.

Members of the DAVE Unit recognized with a Service Commendation are Sgt. William Gilbert, Det. Nathan Young, Det. Matthew Wentworth, Det. Jason Montgomery, Det. James Robbins, and Det. Justin Rundles.

Sgt. William GilbertDet. Nathan YoungDet. Matthew Wentworth

Det Jason MontgomeryDet. James RobbinsDet. Justin Rundles 

Officer Shawn Craven and Huub Officer Shawn Craven and K-9 Huub (nominated by Sgt. Brian Laird)

On November 6, 2013, the department experienced a near-tragedy when Officer Austin Guill's police cruiser was hit broadside by a stolen van.  The driver of the van fled the scene before other officers arrived.  Officer Shawn Craven and Huub were on duty and responded to the scene.  Huub was able to track the driver and along the way located a backpack hidden behind a row of bushes.  The backpack contained items instrumental in making a positive identification of a man Huub found hiding under trash bags in a commercial dumpster.

 

 Flex Unit (nominated by Sgt. George Johnson)
Since its creation, the Flex Unit has assisted in the execution of a number of search warrants and the capture of several elusive felons through dogged investigation and surveillance.  The Unit has worked to improve the department's relationship with Paducah's citizens through the National Night Out and impromptu basketball games with youth throughout the city.  They worked numerous special events and developed an interdiction program focusing on local hotels and motels which resulted in the arrests of 21 fugitives.  The Flex Unit issued a total of 1,132 citations for a total of 1,841 charges in 2013.  For these accomplishments and others, too numerous to mention here, members of the 2013 Flex Unit are being awarded Service Commendations.

Members of the Flex Unit recognized with a Service Commendation are Officer Jarrett Woodruff, Officer Corey Willenborg, Officer Beau Green, and Officer Nathan Jaimet

 Officer Jarrett WoodruffOfficer Corey WillenborgOfficer Beau GreenOfficer Nathan Jaimet

Safe Driving Award

The Safe Driving Award is designed to recognize officers who have demonstrated exceptional skill and judgment while driving a police vehicle by having no at-fault collisions, as determined by the Awards Committee, at five-year increments – five, 10, 15 and 20 years.  Officer Ryan Clark researched department records.  The following officers were honored with Safe Driving Awards:

5-Year Awards:  Det. Christopher Baxter, Officer Christopher Bolton, Officer Kevin Collins, Officer Ryan Conn, Officer Melissa Dillon, Officer Christopher Fearon, Officer Jason Hicks, Officer Matthew Reed, Det. Justin Rundles, and Officer Matthew Scheer

10-Year Awards:  Det. Matthew Smith and Sgt. Steven Smith

15-Year Awards:  Capt. Jason Merrick

Governor's Impaired Driving Enforcement Award

Officer Ryan Burrow 
Officer Ryan Burrow

Each year the Governor's Office, along with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, gives out the Governor's Impaired Driving Enforcement Award to officers from agencies around the Commonwealth with the highest number of DUI arrests. On December 3, 2013, in Louisville, Paducah Police Officer Ryan Burrow was recognized at the annual Awards Ceremony.  Officer Burrow was the Paducah Police Department's top officer in arrests for driving under the influence offenses between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013.  Of the Department's total 342 DUI arrests, 44 were Burrow's.  The Paducah Police Department is part of Division 4 which is for agencies with 51-150 officers.

Special Recognition

Special Recognition

Capt. Mark Roberts recognized the years of dedication and service by K-9 Ronny who died last year.

Capt. Roberts also recognized the invaluable service provided by the Volunteers in Police Service (V.I.P.S.).