NORMAN — Norman Chamber of Commerce Crime Stoppers Committee hosted its 16th annual public safety banquet Thursday to recognize and honor those keeping the community safe.
Twelve people were awarded during the banquet from the seven public safety agencies in Norman including the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, Norman Police Department, Norman Fire Department, Norman Regional Health System’s EMSStat, University of Oklahoma Police Department and the Mary Abbott Children’s House.
As the agencies came together to celebrate another year of public service, a special thanks was given to everyone in the room by OUPD Chief Liz Woolen after the events that unfolded at the university Wednesday involving a report of shots heard on campus.
Woolen thanked Norman police and fire for their quick response to the scare. The initial contact entry team, which involved Norman and OU police, was described to her as a great team effort, as if the officers worked in the same department, she said.
As Norman Fire Chief James Fullingim presented the 2014 Firefighter of the Year, the crowd gave the loudest response of the night to recipient Capt. Jack Ingram.
“This year, I have the privilege to present to you the Firefighter of the Year that represents the future of our organization and our continued success,” Fullingim said.
Ingram joined the department in 1999 and has been actively involved throughout his career.
At the beginning of last January, an 11-year-old girl fell into an icy pond after venturing out onto the pond at northeast Lions Park. Two firefighters put life vests on to go into the pond and rescue the girl, but Ingram threw a rope out first, which landed near the girl on the first attempt.
Ingram pulled her out of the icy water, where she had been unable to touch the bottom.
The firefighter credited the incident to all of the first-responders that day, thanking dispatch, Norman Police Department and EMSStat. He said he was proud of how well they all worked together as a team.
“I’m glad to be a small part of it,” he said.
For the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Greg Mashburn presented Corey Miner with an award, commending him on his hard work and dedication as a prosecutor in McClain County. Miner is a former Norman and Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer.
While it is difficult to single out just one person within the district attorney’s office to receive the award, Mashburn said Miner does a phenomenal job.
“It’s so good to see so many of my old friends in this room,” Miner said as he received his award. “I’d like to thank everybody.”
The Norman Police Department gave out three awards: Supervisor of the Year, Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year.
Lt. Jamie Shattuck received Supervisor of the Year.
Chief Keith Humphrey said Shattuck has displayed great leadership and is a truly selfless person.
Humphrey shared stories about Shattuck, including one involving a young, deaf lady who was stranded on the roadway. The young lady’s sister wrote the department, saying that Shattuck went out of his way to make sure her sister was safe, Humphrey said.
Shattuck has worked at the Norman Police Department for 17 years and said he still loves his job and is thankful to work for such a great organization.
Stacey Clement was named Officer of the Year and is the second consecutive female officer to receive the award.
“She’s full of surprises,” Humphrey said. “Don’t let her size fool you, she’s got a big heart.”
Clement has recently filled the shoes of a recruitment officer and while she had big shoes to fill, she had done an amazing job, Humphrey said. She also started the forensic internship position, which she has taken to a different level.
Clement also organized the Women’s Police Expo, scheduled for February, to help females understand policing more, help reduce their fears and show them it is a job of empowerment and service, Humphrey said.
“I’m really proud of her. She’s a good person,” he said. “She’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.”
Clement thanked Lance Arnold, who had some very nice things to say about her, and her family for putting up with her.
“They’re the reason I do what I do,” she said.
Norman Police Civilian Employee of the Year was awarded to Scott Walsh, who the department has been dependent upon when it comes to their communication system, Humphrey said.
Walsh plays a big part in fixing anything wrong with the system and went above and beyond when tornadoes struck the Norman area and then Moore the next day.
“Plus, he has a really nice voice,” Humphrey joked.
Walsh thanked Crime Stoppers for honoring all of the first responders and his family.
The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office recognized two people, including Deputy of the Year Brandon Hilbun and Detention Officer of the Year Josh McCoy.
Hilbun helped give three Cleveland County families a Christmas this year and was involved heavily with the annual Night Out against crime, Sheriff Joe Lester said.
McCoy volunteers in the community, volunteered his efforts in the May tornado, he’s indispensable to his shift and still exhibits integrity and strives to achieve the highest standard, Lester said.
Dr. Patrick Cody, medical director for EMSStat, presented awards to Rick Garcia for Paramedic of the Year and Anthony Hurrey-Bell for EMT of the Year.
Hurrey-Bell was the first recipient of the award this year. Cody called him instrumental and said he has “made a name for himself.” The EMT said he has never seen anyone come together like they do in Norman as first responders.
“Everybody rocks. Don’t applaud for me, applaud for yourselves,” he said.
Garcia, a former firefighter, has proved outstanding community service in training medics, Cody said.
OUPD recognized both an officer and employee of the year at the banquet. Sgt. Tim Huff, or as some know him, “Brother Huff,” was named Officer of the Year.
Woolen said Huff works diligently behind the scenes and is known for his quiet professionalism.
Employee of the Year went to Tim Sieger, who is responsible for keeping and storing records at the university’s police department and often takes on a lot of non-job-related tasks, Woolen said.
“I’m just the guy that deals with everything after it happened,” Sieger said while he thanked everyone, joking that some of the officers make his job easier and others do not.
The executive director of the Mary Abbot Children’s House recognized Norman Detective David Freudiger with the Wayne Martin Memorial Award this year. The award is given to someone who demonstrates the same unwavering commitment to children officer Wayne Martin did before he was killed in a car wreck.
Freudiger said he was honored to receive the award and was grateful for the partnership with the DA’s office and NPD with the Abbott House.
Two scholarship recipients also were recognized: Destiny Robertson, who received the Steve Cain Memorial Scholarship, and Anna Bishop, who received the John Dutch Memorial Scholarship.
The Steve Cain and John Dutch Memorial Scholarships are named in honor of the late Steve Cain, a retired captain who served with the NPD for 29 years, and the late John Dutch, Norman fire chief of 14 years. The scholarships are presented to dependents of public safety officers working in Cleveland County.
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