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Posted on: April 2, 2019

Police honor top officers, staff in annual awards banquet

The Prescott Valley Police Department on Friday evening honored its top officers for the year of 2018 during its annual banquet at the Prescott Resort.

Honorees for the 2018 year are:

Officer of the Year – Detective Ryan Spriggs

Officer of the Year (Police Meritorious Service Ribbon) is awarded annually to the Officer of the Year.  The ribbon is designed for the recognition of a sworn officer and is awarded for sustained long term, noteworthy achievement throughout the calendar year.

Det. Ryan Spriggs’ has been a valuable asset to the Prescott Valley Police Department for more than five years.  During 2018, he was assigned to the Partners against Narcotics Trafficking Task Force (PANT). Ryan Spriggs Officer of Year

Det. Spriggs began his career with the Prescott Valley Police Department in August 2013. While assigned to PANT, Det. Spriggs took on many complex cases, the majority of which were criminals transporting large amounts of narcotics in and out of Yavapai County.  Because of Det. Spriggs’ skill, many investigations, some because of their complexity spanning a length of time, followed with arrests and convictions. Many of the offenders Det. Spriggs assisted in incarcerating were career criminals with significant criminal records and danger to the community.

In December 2017 through November 2018, Det. Spriggs was instrumental in bringing down several drug trafficking organizations.  He was one of the lead detectives in “Operation Hot Rail,” which lead to the indictment of 11 suspects who were involved in the distribution, transportation and use of methamphetamines and other illicit drugs in Yavapai county and surrounding areas.  During this operation, search warrants were executed and yielded significant quantities of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, pills, marijuana and THX wax.  Detectives also seized firearms, stolen property, vehicles and US Currency which were used to facilitate the drug trafficking organization.

Det. Spriggs also spent numerous hours teaching the public about illicit drugs and their dangers.  He took on the task of spreading the word about the ever-changing drug epidemic at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Yavapai College Symposium, PVPD Citizens Academy, Patrol Level Narcotics, Overdose Fatality Review Board, a drug impact panel, and more.

Since becoming a general detective, supervisors and detectives immediately noticed his impact. His current unit describes Det. Spriggs as knowledgeable, skillful, and extremely dedicated. 

Det. Spriggs’ job performance demonstrates his dedication to the department and the public that he serves.

Supervisor of the Year – Sergeant Tom Grant

The Supervisor of the Year Award is designed for Department sworn or civilian supervisor/sergeant rank who distinguished themselves by performing exceptional service to the Department throughout the year.

A former Marine, Sgt. Tom Grant has served with PVPD for 16 years.  In July 2013, he was promoted from corporal to sergeant and served as a patrol supervisor for the next five years.  Additionally, he assumed the SWAT sergeant position and provided exemplary leadership for the team. 

In July 2018, Grant was selected to take over supervision of the Criminal Investigations Section.  The unit had experienced a 50-percent turnover in personnel. Sgt. Grant learned, hands on, everything he needed to know to provide competent and effective leadership for the unit.  He has made a tremendous impact in a short period of time. Tom Grant Supervisor of Year

Sgt. Grant is one of the most compassionate, caring, and professional leaders within the department.  He goes above and beyond what is expected and gives 110-percent day in and day out. 

He is involved in numerous community events, including District #2 community liaison for more than years, PV Foundation Murder Mystery and gun raffle, Puente De La Comunidad, Festival De Niño’s at Franklin Phonetic School, Flying High Turkey Drive, Block Watch, National Night Out, radio shows, Citizen Academy, juvenile tours of the police department, Special Olympics, Coffee with a Cop, Sticker Shock, MADD placemat program, church-related community events, school events, Read Across America, walk-a-thons, career day, variety of different Touch a Truck events, Salute to Heroes, Shop with a Cop, Firefighter Angel program, inaugural member and leader of the Prescott Valley Police Department Honor Guard since its inception 15 years ago, Prescott Valley Healing Field, 911 ceremony, and parades. He is also a member of the Critical Incident Support Response Team.

Sgt. Grant meets regularly with those who report to him, provides clear direction and expectations, and creates a positive work environment.  He has a great sense of humor which he uses to motivate employees.  The units and individuals he supervises reflect his passion for community service, hard work, and professionalism. 

Civilian of the Year: Cody Chewning

The Civilian of the Year award is designed for Department civilian employees who distinguish themselves by performing exceptional service to the Department throughout the year.

Community Service Officer Cody Chewning started with the police department on June 11, 2018. With only a month in the position, he took the lead for a successful Salute to Bigs in Blue event.

Cody Chewning Civilian of YearHis numerous accomplishments include creating a new employee directory booklet and system to track new hires; researching and presenting options for an updated written recruit test; creating multiple shareable Excel sheets to improve the unit’s time management, accuracy, and thoroughness; creating a shadowing process for new recruits to allow full exposure to the department; taking over a majority of Project Lifesaver including the facilitation of the program; instituting a new Excel-based tracking system for backgrounds, new officer testing, community service participation, liquor license postings, and prisoner pickups, and a new Outlook Calendar sharing program to have visibility for different divisions; re-organized the Support services t-drive to clean up and increase efficiency within the Support Services team; taking point on the Youth Community Outreach grant, making sure each topic point was communicated; and working with NACOG to significantly expand the department’s recruiting outreach efforts.

Chewning has worked tirelessly as a liaison between the department and the School Resource Officer Challenge Group to orchestrate fundraising for the Prescott Valley Police Department baseball card project.  He is always willing to take on extra tasks and has an excellent work ethic as well as a positive demeanor.

Chewning is currently going through the recruiting process to become a police officer.

Unit of the Year – Administrative Support (Geni LeQuesne, Mary Graceffa, Kim Martin, and Amy Stone).

 The Unit of the Year is selected by Administrative Command Staff. The commendatory accomplishment must be the result of a combined effort by members of the section/unit.

The Admin Team was down two personnel at the beginning of last year.  Both team members worked extremely hard to make sure no issues were overlooked and continued to give the agency the best assistance when needed.  It was the Team’s goal to make sure there was a smooth transition when the two new members were added. Unit of Year

The eagerness of the members to work as a solid team while two new members transitioned into their positions was vital to making this division successful.  Today, the members work as a unit scheduling and facilitating all training requests including travel, lodging, and per diem; completing the tedious task of researching and applying for grants, and really importantly ensuring payroll is accurate and input correctly

When asked to help out, such as coming in early on a Monday after a holiday to complete payroll, they do it.  If the schedule has to get adjusted for training, they are willing to make these sacrifices. 

Members of this team are involved in different memberships for the Town, such as the Wellness Team, Personnel Board, volunteering for the annual Employee Gala, and volunteering for community events. 

Rookie of the Year – Officer Wesley Denison

Wesley Denison Rookie of YearThe Rookie of the Year Award is designed for the recognition of a probationary officer who has less than two years total sworn time.  The award is for sustained, long term effort and noteworthy achievement during the officer’s field training and subsequent service.

Wes Denison began his career with the Police Department on July 10, 2017, and has quickly become an integral part of his squad.  In 2018 he had 46 arrests, wrote 48 citations, wrote 130 warnings, and assisted with 10 accidents.  He is an extremely hard worker who does a great job.  He is always quick to step forward and be the lead officer on any case that arises.  He is a fantastic team player who will do whatever is necessary to make sure the squad is able to wrap up tough cases.  Despite having graduated the academy just over a year ago, Wes has already taken a leadership role with the new officers in training.  He has shown interest in becoming a general instructor and a field training officer when those positions become available.  He has quickly become a great asset to the Prescott Valley Police Department. 

Community Policing Ribbon – Community Service Officer, Javier Martinez

The Community Policing Ribbon is awarded to Department personnel who have solved a significant community problem, including the community in the problem solving process, and/or shown aJavier Martinez Community Policing Ribbon commitment to the Department’s community policing philosophy.

In addition to being the senior Community Services Officer and running the department’s radio program, Javier Martinez is extremely helpful with all of the officers in the department, and will always assist in any way possible.  He is even tempered and has a “we can figure it out” attitude. He is always willing to help when asked or when he sees that someone is in need of assistance. He has a connection between the Police Department and the community, helping with Special Olympics, community events, and volunteering his time for children. He is a bridge for the Hispanic community, and is an active member in his church.

Volunteer of the Year – Chris Kissling

Chris Kissling Vol of YearThe Volunteer of the Year award is designed for Department volunteers who distinguished themselves by performing exceptional service to the Department throughout the year.

Chris Kissling has been a volunteer with the Prescott Valley Police Department since 2016, where he was assigned to patrol.  During 2018, Kissling volunteered more than 500 hours.  Not only does he help out with patrol, but Kissling also contributes astonishing photography work which is displayed throughout the entire Police Department.  He assembles videos and slide shows for the department, including a continuous video shown in the front lobby so citizens can see different aspects of their police department. 

The Department has used Kissling’s photography for informational pamphlets, and he produced the Department’s recruitment video.  He takes great pride in his work and it shows.

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