Members of the law enforcement and justice community honored their "TOP COP" Wednesday.
Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves along with area district attorneys and U.S. Attorney Greg Davis.
Among the law enforcement officials nominated are officers from federal and state agencies as well as city and county law enforcement departments.
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT:
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Special Agent Scott Wells is an outstanding investigator who primarily handles computer intrusion matters for the Jackson FBI Office. He evaluates every allegation in a fair and impartial manner to ensure federal guidelines and policies are met prior to investigating a case. His dedication to fulfilling the FBI's mandate to counter criminal and national security cyber threats is second to none. S/A Wells' professional and positive demeanor qualifies him to be this year's TOP COP for the Jackson Bureau.
United States Marshal's Office – Deputy U.S. Marshal Steven Davis is a ten (10) year veteran of the Marshal Service and is the Fugitive Task Force Team leader. This Task Force is a compilation of state, county and local officers who specialize in the location and apprehension of violent fugitives. Through his exemplary leadership, this team assisted in over five hundred (500) arrests in Fiscal Year 2012. For these reasons, the U.S. Marshal's Service presents D.U.S.M. Steven Davis for its metro TOP COP.
U.S. Homeland Security Investigations – Special Agent Malcolm C. "Chris" McMillin began his career in law enforcement in 1992 with MBN, he served with the U.S. Secret Service protecting former Pres. George H.W. Bush and came to H.S.I. in 2003. He is the Homeland Security representative on the Joint Terrorism Task Force with an extensive narcotics smuggling, firearms violations, immigration violations, currency smuggling and worksite enforcement caseload. S/A McMillin is the Homeland Security Investigations TOP COP for 2013.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration – Task Force Officer Daniel J. Carter is assigned to the D.E.A. Jackson District Office's Tactical Diversion Squad. They investigate suspected violations of the Controlled Substance Act. The team initiated two (2) priority cases against two (2) physicians over-prescribing Schedule II, III and IV drugs along with Phentermine. TFO Carter's outstanding professional manner assisted in removing these careless doctors from society. He is a credit to both his agency and colleagues.
STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT:
MS Attorney General's Office – Senior Investigator Joe Sanderson has been with the Medicaid Fraud Division for over thirteen (13) years investigating physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable persons in facilities throughout the state. From 2012 to present, he was assigned sixty-nine (69) cases. Twenty-five (25) have been presented for prosecution with twenty (20) arrests. Ten (10) have been successfully prosecuted, to date, including a home waiver nurse who was convicted of abuse and sentenced to ten (10) years in prison for burning a patient with a flat iron. Inv. Sanderson is singled out by the Attorney General's Office for his exemplary service.
MS Gaming Commission – Special Agent Edward W. Williams after serving at the Jackson Police Department joined the M.G.C. in 1995. He started in Investigations Division and was assigned to Criminal Investigations Division after being promoted to Special Agent. He has made significant misdemeanor and felony arrests which have led to reduction in criminal gambling activity. S/A Williams is an asset to his agency.
MS Highway Patrol – Trooper First Class Kervin Stewart has been with MHP for six (6) years and is posted at Troop C. On March 1st of last year, while off duty in DeKalb County, Alabama he came across an occupied, on fire vehicle due to a multi-car crash. With no regard to his personal safety, the trooper pulled the occupant to safety and put out the flames on the person's body. After calling law enforcement and medical response, he stayed with the injured driver until they arrived. Trooper First Class Stewart is not only deserving of this TOP COP award but exemplifies the very essence of what all state troopers strive to be.
MS State Capitol Police – Internal Affairs Investigator Michael Maldonado also directs Emergency Operations, Training Division and Homeland Security Division. A twenty-six (26) year law man, he joined Capitol Police in January of 2012 after a career dedicated to promoting public safety for the citizens of Hinds County. Mike has been instrumental in the implementation of new training techniques, improved firearms tactics and currently serves as Chief Firearms Instructor. His service to Hinds County and the Capitol Complex makes him more than worthy of this TOP COP award.
MS Bureau of Narcotics – Agent Kenneth Blanford has been an agent with MBN for seven (7) years. After initiating an investigation of a major drug trafficking operation, he was instrumental in getting approximately fifty (50) pounds of cocaine of the streets. A separate wiretap investigation in the greater Jackson area resulted in the arrest and conviction of major narcotics traffickers. Not only is Agent Blanford's performance in the highest tradition of MBN, he is also active duty U.S. Army and a TOP COP.
MS Department of Corrections – Officer Dawn Bell has served the interests of public safety for thirteen (13) years. After working as a Field Officer in Rankin County, she was transferred to Madison County to get that office up to MDOC high standards. She is a vital member of the Madison County team and MDOC. Officer Bell's supervisors believe this recognition is long past due. She is MDOC's TOP COP.
MS Agricultural & Livestock Theft Bureau – Investigator Chris Newman has been with the Ag Theft Bureau since 2006. Prior experience is with both county and municipal agencies as well as the U.S. Border Patrol culminating in a sixteen (16) year law enforcement career. Inv. Newman recently investigated a complex timberland case in District 7, which encompasses nine (9) counties in the Hattiesburg area. The suspects were fraudulently obtaining timberland from unsuspecting owners. Due to his persistence, these individuals have been indicted and are awaiting trial.
MS State Fire Marshal's Office – South District – Deputy State Fire Marshal II Kevin Butler began his career as a Fire Investigator for the Smith County Sheriff's Office. In 2012, he worked seventy-six (76) fires with forty-eight (48) being ruled Arson. Deputy Butler made twenty (20) arrests for a forty-one point six percent (41.6%) arrest rate. The national arson clearance rate is eighteen point five percent (18.5%). His professionalism and hard work make him the South District's TOP COP award winner.
MS State Fire Marshal's Office – North District – A fifteen year veteran, Deputy State Fire Marshal David Borgogoni worked forty-eight (48) Arson fires, five (5) undetermined and twenty-eight (28) accidental fires. Ten (10) arson arrests were made. At the Fire Marshal's Office ten (10) years, Deputy Borgogoni's steadfast work ethic and leadership by example is a credit to fire investigators and law enforcement everywhere.
MS Office of the State Auditor - Special Agent Carrie Sumrall started her career with the Auditor's office in 2004 and later graduated from the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute in Long Beach. Previous experience includes serving as an auditor for M.G.C. Her handling of complex money laundering, fraud and embezzlement cases demonstrates a sustained superior service to the people of Mississippi. Recovering thousands of dollars for taxpayers with various federal agencies during Katrina fraud investigations make S/A Sumrall the Auditor's office TOP COP.
MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks – Corporal Chris Bobo resides and works in Madison County. He is a valuable member of the Special Response Team and has received specialized training in: Overland Search & Rescue, Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing, Tactical Search & Rescue & Rope and Rescue. From assisting in the apprehension of an armed robbery suspect to sharing boating details on local waterways, he demonstrates a strong work ethic. Cpl. Bobo's representation of M.D.W.F.P. is exemplified through his community leadership.
MS Bureau of Investigations – Master Sergeant Cecilia Kazery-Geiselbreth is TOP COP for her meritorious and superior service. In a leadership position as Acting Enforcement Supervisor, she has been the lead investigator on several high profile investigations and has completed them in an exemplary fashion. Inv. Kazery-Geiselbreth is a credit to MBI, MHP and the MS Department of Public Safety.
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT:
Brandon Police Department – Chief Investigator Jeff Robertson's service on the IRS task force has brought the department over two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00) in seizure monies. Those funds paid for equipment and cars outside of the P.D.'s annual budget. This and his crime solving abilities make Chief Robertson a true asset to the Brandon Police Department.
Byram Police Department – This young department has opted to use its very first TOP COP nomination to honor the memory and service of fallen Jackson Police Department Detective Eric Smith. Det. Smith's life was taken earlier this year in the line of duty by a criminal suspect. Byram's decision to honor a fellow officer from another jurisdiction demonstrates the sense of fraternity and a family level loyalty held by the men and women who go about the business of law enforcement. We thank them all.
Canton Police Department – Officer Anthony Moser is a seventeen (17) year veteran who serves as accreditation manager for the department. A stand out narcotics officer, Officer Moser works tirelessly in all aspects of law enforcement to make Canton P.D. all that it can be.
Clinton Police Department – School Resource Officer, Sergeant George Reese has served his department for over twenty (20) years. After working as a patrol officer, warrants officer, SWAT member and as leader of the Crisis Negotiation Unit, he now works in the Clinton Public School District. He manages the safety and security within all public schools, performs residency checks and leads all criminal investigations in the district. He recently played an important role in the security for First Lady
Michelle Obama while taping a segment for the Rachel Ray show in Clinton. Sergeant Reese's experience in law enforcement and as an Army veteran is invaluable to the City of Clinton.
Florence Police Department – Sergeant Candace Findley came to the department after serving at the Grenada County Sheriff's Office and the Grenada P.D. Working first as a patrol officer and then as the K-9 officer, she is now assigned to the investigations unit and is a certified D.A.R.E. officer. Sergeant Findley's organizational and people skills have aided her in solving several burglary cases, including old cases that she developed new leads on. She is an asset to the City of Florence.
Hazlehurst Police Department – Field Training Officer and Patrolman Ronnie J. Murray, while on-shift, responded to a house fire. He managed to kick in the door to save the life of a citizen who was asleep inside the structure and two (2) household pets. In law enforcement just over four (4) years, his quick to action response shows dedication and maturity. Officer Murray's service is a credit to the Hazlehurst Police Department.
Hinds County District Attorney's Office – Investigator Wayne Monroe is a forty (40) year law enforcement professional. His experience and scope of work are immeasurable. At Hinds County for the past fifteen (15) years, he has served under multiple D.A's. It is his unfailing dedication to public safety and the office he represents that makes him this agency's TOP COP award recipient.
Hinds County Sheriff's Office – Investigator Pam Turner came to the Hinds County S.O. in 1999 after serving at M.D.O.C. Since 2004, she has worked as a Fugitive Investigator on with the Apprehension Team for the United States Marshal's Fugitive Task Force. She is called upon to search for and secure the most dangerous of criminals. Her reputation within the communities she serves and with her colleagues has made her an effective and driven investigator. The Hinds County Sheriff's Office is a better department because of the service of Investigator Turner.
Jackson Municipal Airport Authority – Officer Shechem Townsend was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom from June 2009 to March 2010 and again to Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2011 to August 2012 by the Mississippi Army National Guard. After serving our country overseas, he continues to lead by example. His dedication to the safety of travelers, tenants, co-workers and the general public is shown in his diligent enforcement of local, state and federal laws. Officer Townsend's service reflects great credit to his shift, the department and the Jackson Airport Authority.
Jackson Police Department – On August 18, 2012, Officer Rodney Daniels was dispatched to a "Man With Gun" call on Capitol Street. When the suspect was approached, he fled causing Officer Daniels to give chase. In that chase the suspect brandished a gun and fired two (2) shots, one of which struck the officer in the leg. He continued the chase until succumbing to his injuries. While lying on the ground, he returned fire and provided radio communication to his fellow officers resulting in the eventual capture of the suspect by backup officers. For bravery in the face of danger and commitment to service, Officer Daniels is Jackson Police Department's 2012 TOP COP.
Madison County Sheriff's Department – Deputy Kyrie Lucas exhibits a daily drive and determination that proves him to be a true public servant. He is proactive and gives 100% to every assigned task. Deputy Lucas exemplifies the characteristics of a law enforcement officer and is an asset to Madison County.
Madison Police Department – Officer Matthew Junkin is assigned to Patrol Division as an Officer in Charge, Field Training Officer and a member of the Special Response Team. On February 3rd of this year, he responded to a medical aid call in which an infant was not breathing. After assessing the situation, he performed infant CPR until fire and medical personnel arrived. The child is now home following a brief stay in the hospital. Officer Junkin's actions are a strong testament to him, the City of Madison Police Department and the law enforcement profession.
Mendenhall Police Department – Lieutenant Charles Sherman has served the citizens of the City of Mendenhall for eight (8) years with exemplary service. A twenty-three (23) year veteran of the Mississippi National Guard, he holds the rank of sergeant first class and is a recipient of the bronze star. He was deployed to Iraq for two (2) tours as part of the War on Terror and Operation Enduring Freedom. On the training staff with the Simpson County Law Enforcement Training Academy, Lt. Sherman leads with a positive attitude. He is a credit to the Mendenhall Police Department.
Metro One Airborne Enforcement – Flight Officer Andy Robinson relayed information to officers on the ground when Metro One responded to a stolen vehicle call from JPD – Precinct 2. He located the vehicle and informed officers of its path while being driven through Jackson. When the suspect stopped and fled, Officer Robinson directed officers to the house where the suspect was hiding. The suspect was arrested by JPD and another subject was detained at the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle, a blue Ford F-250, is State Representative John Read. He had gone to lunch at Chimneyville while the legislature was on break. Due to Officer Robinson's dauntless pursuit, the truck was returned back to Rep. Read undamaged.
Pearl Police Department – Pearl P.D.'s TOP COP is awarded posthumously to Officer Michael Walter. At the department since 2009, he and four (4) other detectives were serving a warrant on sexual battery of a minor and possession of child pornography charges. The suspect opened fire on the officers from a hiding position while they
were attempting to clear the apartment. Officer Walter was hit in the face and two (2) other officers were wounded. One of the wounded was able to return fire and killed the suspect. He is survived by a wife and daughter.
Rankin County Sheriff's Department – Chief Investigator Tim Lawless has served in public safety for over twenty-five (25) years. Almost seventeen (17) of those years has been with Rankin County. His exemplary leadership in all aspects of investigations has resulted in the expedient arrest and conviction of suspects. Inv. Lawless is a valuable asset to the Rankin County Sheriff's Department and will be missed upon his retirement later this year.
Rankin/Madison County District Attorney's Office – Investigator Robert Winn has served as a Patrol Officer, Narcotics Officer, Deputy Sheriff and twice as Chief of Police in his twenty-two (22) years of law enforcement service. Starting at the Hollandale Police Department, he went on to the Greenville Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff's Department. Inv. Winn has been the Chief of Police for both Hollandale and Canton and is now posted to the D.A.'s office in Madison. His stellar investigative work has resulted in guilty verdicts against Armed Robbers, Kidnappers and Murderers.
Reservoir Police Department – Officer Josh Monahan was fishing while off duty at Goshen Springs on January 25th of this year. He responded to a call for help from William Booth, 74, of Morton. Mr. Booth had fallen out of his boat into the water and needed assistance getting on the dock. After rescue, he was hypothermic. Ofc. Monahan got Mr. Booth to the warmth of his vehicle and called the Lake Harbor Fire Department and AMR. After being taken to Baptist, he made a full recovery. This officer's actions and communication with other first responders to prevent a certain tragedy make him Reservoir P.D.'s TOP COP.
Ridgeland Police Department – Officer Ray Daniels was a corporal supervisor on the Bravo -1 shift until he gladly gave up the rank to become a canine handler. Recently, he responded to a vehicle accident involving the rollover of a small SUV where the female driver was ejected. The driver was a young mother, someone's daughter and someone's wife. Officer Daniels located the injured victim and kept her from bleeding to death from massive head trauma until emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene. He is Ridgeland PD's TOP COP.
Simpson County Sheriff's Office – Patrol Deputy Kathryn McMillian is a three (3) year deputy. She has proven her abilities to handle any situation put before her and has gained the respect of her colleagues time and time again. Her strong dedication to public safety while on patrol makes her an asset to the Simpson County Sheriff's Office and a credit to all law enforcement officers.
Town of Terry Police Department – Officer DeJohn Hampton began his law enforcement career in 2003 and came to the department in 2008. He is a certified training officer and a state certified instructor. Other certification include: NRA handgun/shotgun instructor, TCTI Firearm Instructor, PPCT defensive tactic instructor and Red Cross CPR First Aid Instructor. His knowledge, ability and skills aid to promote security to the citizens of Terry.
UMMC Police Department – Investigator Syrone McBeath attended Mississippi College on a football scholarship studying Criminal Justice. Starting at MDOC, he has been with UMMC for twelve (12) years. Inv. McBeath was responsible for the apprehension and arrest of two (2) hospital employees who were stealing valuable items from the hospital. They were using a UMMC truck to transport these items to a local metal processor. The employees had received over fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00) from the illegal transactions. Their charge is embezzlement. Inv. McBeath is UMMC P.D.'s TOP COP.
Vicksburg Police Department – Sergeant Johnnie Edwards began with this department thirteen (13) years ago. He has served in the patrol division, traffic division and criminal investigations division. In 2010 he was assigned to internal affairs. Due to a two (2) year assessment by Sgt. Edwards, the Vicksburg Police Department was granted state and federal accreditation from the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies. He continues to work to maintain this high level of professionalism to ensure the betterment of the department.
Warren County Sheriff's Office – Investigator Chris Satcher is a ten (10) year law enforcement veteran with nine (9) of those being at Warren County. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science from Jacksonville State University. He is currently a Task Force Officer assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2012, Inv. Satcher was instrumental in numerous arrests of a pharmaceutical forging operation. He also arrested several juvenile offenders in the Drive By Shooting and Murder of a Warren County Juvenile.
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