Archive for Thursday, May 19, 2005

County law enforcers gather for awards ceremony

May 19, 2005

— Police officers from departments throughout Leavenworth County were honored May 16 at an awards banquet at Lansing Community Center. The 19th Annual Peace Officers and Police Awards and Memorial Day Event was sponsored by James Taylor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12003 and Eagles Aerie 55 Lodge.

The event honored police officers from all over Leavenworth County for commitment to their communities and excellence in service.

The Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department and the police departments of Basehor, Fort Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Lansing, Tonganoxie and the Veteran's Affairs Police Department participated in the ceremony.

One officer from each department was chosen for each of the following awards: Certificate of Appreciation, Safety Award, Merit Award for Excellent Arrest and Certificate of Achievement in Criminal Investigation and a departmental Officer of the Year.

Awards for the Lansing Police Department went to:

¢ Officer Jim Magee, Certificate of Appreciation. Magee works as a reserve police officer, animal control officer and firefighter. The certificate says that Magee also serves "as an Emergency Weather Spotter, and takes care of the department's minor vehicle and building repair needs."

¢ Detective Scott Crawford, Certificate of Achievement in Criminal Investigation for finding and arresting the suspect in a robbery and rape that occurred in late December. The individual is suspected of other robberies.

¢ Sgt. Anthony Waterman, Merit Award for Excellent Arrest for surveillance and arrest in the same robbery and rape case with Crawford.

¢ Officer Billy Blackwell II, Merit Award for Excellent Arrest for his work in January 2004 in locating and apprehending without incident a fugitive wanted for involuntary manslaughter and fraudulent use of a financial card.

¢ Officer Michael Heuer, Safety Award for his work in enforcing traffic laws and automobile safety in Lansing.

¢ Officer Aaron Wilson, Lansing Police Officer of the Year award for his "dedication to duty and attention to detail." Wilson said after the event that the honor was "surprising - totally." When asked if the award would affect how he thought about his job, Wilson said, "I take my job in a very professional manner, whether or not I get an award. Professionalism and integrity."

Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman said deciding who would receive the award was a challenge.

"It was tough," Wayman said. "We have a good crew, and all 13 of them are equally deserving."

While Wayman said all of his officers show "fantastic" attention to detail, he said Wilson's attention to detail in his three years with the department was just a little bit more, and this led Wayman to choose Wilson for the award.

The Officer of the Year for Leavenworth County award went to Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Andrew Dedeke for "long and outstanding service to his department and community." Dedeke, who didn't know he would be chosen, had been lured to the banquet on his night off by a request from his boss, Leavenworth County Sheriff David Zoellner, to videotape the awards ceremony.

Dedeke has worked in the sheriff's department since 1992 and said the examples of his father, Larry Dedeke, and his brother, Jeff Dedeke, inspired him to serve in law enforcement. Larry Dedeke now serves as a Leavenworth city commissioner, and Jeff Dedeke works as a deputy sheriff with his brother at the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department.

Andrew Dedeke said his father loved working as a police officer and always served with pride.

"I have attempted to perform my duties in a manner that he would approve of and make him proud," he said.

Wayman said at the end of the evening that he was glad his officers were recognized for their work.

"The good part about these award banquets is, they allow everyone to see what the officers do," he said. "It shows their hearts are in the job."


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