Each year the Lyndhurst Police Department recognizes members of the department who have excelled in the field of police work. Officers are recognized for their work in the areas of OVI Enforcement and Stolen Auto Recovery. Dispatch personnel are presented with the "Calm During the Storm" award for excellence in dispatching.
Officers and/or dispatchers are recognized for exceptional work in investigations, crime prevention and/or incidents that occur in the course of day-to-day operations. The commendations are at the recommendation of the department's supervisors.
OVI Enforcement - This year the award for OVI enforcement was given to Ptl. Jim Johnson. A total of 83 drivers were arrested by the Lyndhurst Police Department in 2009. Ptl. Johnson led the department with 17 1/2 arrests for OVI in 2009.
Auto Theft Award - This year the Auto Theft Award was given to Ptl. Greg Traci and Ptl. Matt Eden. On April 2nd, 2009 an Irene road resident woke up and saw that his truck had been stolen. When he went outside he noticed the truck was parked down the street with heavy damage. While inspecting the truck he heard a cell phone ringing from inside the truck. When Ptl. Eden arrived he retrieved the cell phone and while holding it, it rang. Ptl. Eden tried to answer it but it went right to voicemail. However, he did notice that the call came from a contact labeled, "Dad." Ptl. Eden called "Dad" and learned that the phone belonged to one of our frequent troublemakers.
Later in the morning, Ptl. Traci had set up surveillance outside the suspect's house and observed him leaving. Ptl. Traci stopped him and arrested him for investigation. The suspect refused to say why his cell phone was located in a stolen truck, but later did plead guilty to Receiving Stolen Property.
This was a great example of good police work, teamwork, and initiative. It's an especially important arrest because this particular offender has an extensive history involving drugs, weapons and theft.
Calm During the Storm - This year the Calm During the Storm award is presented to Disp. Pat Spellman. On February 15th, 2009, Dispatcher Spellman received a call from a resident reporting large amount of black smoke coming from Cleveland Lighting, 5540 Mayfield. Disp. Spellman was the only dispatcher on duty during this structure fire. With the assistance of a police officer, Disp. Spellman was able to see that all necessary notifications (including, but not limited to, nine mutual-aid fire departments, business owners, auxiliary police officers, the service department, Fire Investigation Unit, etc) were made in a timely manner.