This past Saturday, the Juneau Police Department honored four staff members at an awards banquet for their efforts in the community.
School Resource Officer (SRO) Blain Hatch, who is planning on retiring this summer, earned Officer of the Year honors. Hatch has spent most of the past 15 years as the SRO, serving as the liaison between JPD and the Juneau School District. He handles disturbances at schools, runs the DARE program, appears in classes, assists in pedestrian safety and more.
“As a part of these students’ lives, he is able to maintain a positive police image even during tough times in our country,” a statement from JPD read. “He has molded and assisted the youth of this community and we will reap the benefits of his efforts for another generation.”
Brian Dallas, a patrol sergeant who has been with the department for more than 18 years, was named Leader of the Year at Saturday’s banquet. Dallas is the department’s SWAT team leader and Field Training Coordinator.
Statements from JPD employees about Dallas stated that he holds others accountable, is willing to make time to listen to co-workers and strikes “a good balance between truth and mercy in day-to-day police work.”
JPD’s Dispatcher of the Year honor went to Meghan Kennedy-Brown, who is celebrating her 10th anniversary with JPD this month. Kennedy-Brown is a public safety dispatcher and communications training officer with Crisis Intervention Team training.
In her position, Kennedy-Brown communicates with officers in the field and with callers, who are sometimes in crisis. A statement from a JPD employee said Kennedy-Brown is skilled at calming people down in order to quickly gather information.
Investigations Support Specialist Stacy Eldemar, who has been with the department for more than 12 years, was named the Civilian of the Year. Eldemar helps detectives with information to complete their cases, and has to access a wide variety of databases for information.
A statement from a JPD employee compared Eldemar to an offensive lineman in football, doing hard work without much acclaim or attention.
Many employees were nominated by their peers, and the department’s chiefs selected the four honorees. The banquet was also meant to get employees and their families together and celebrate their accomplishments and employees who have achieved service milestones.
The Juneau Police Auxiliary, a nonprofit group, planned the event, gathered donations and set up the venue for the event. A multitude of local businesses assisted in the event: Alaskan Brewing Company, Alaska Seaplanes, Bullwinkle’s Pizza, Hangar on the Wharf, Heritage Coffee, Juneau Pizza, Nugget Alaskan Outfitter, Papa Murphy’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse, The Grind Coffee Co. and the Westmark Baranof Hotel.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.