Professionalism and connecting with the community were honored at the Dugway Proving Ground Police Banquet Friday.
Among those honored was Travis Wall, who was given the award for Officer of the Year.
Dugway Police Chief Phil Fishbeck said although Wall was also given the honor last year, the committee that reviewed the nominations for the award determined he deserved the recognition again.
“He seems to respond well with the community and the community responds well to him, which is a plus, especially in a tight-knit community like Dugway,” Fishbeck said. “We could just write tickets to everyone, but then no one would want to work with us. [Wall] seems to find the right balance. He seems to find that niche.”
Nick Drake, who received last year’s Chief’s Award, was recognized this year as Security Officer of the Year.
“He always calls everyone by name when he sees them at the gate,” Fishbeck said. “You wouldn’t believe how much people appreciate that.”
Jennifer Ball was awarded as Dispatcher of the Year for her professionalism and assistance with a new project connecting law enforcement with schools and community members.
Heather Dekanich, another dispatcher, was given the Chief’s Award for her role at the head of that project, Fishbeck said.
“She’s been working with the Tooele County School District, teaching, educating and mentoring students,” he said. “Members of the police department and fire department go to schools once a month. The intent is just to familiarize them with the uniform and get them to be more comfortable around us. Heather’s been spearheading that project.”
Fishbeck said Drake, Wall, Ball and Dekanich have all also been named specifically as people who have been professional and made a positive impact on residents and workers at Dugway in feedback cards periodically passed out to the community.
“They’re putting these guys in there by name, and I think that means a lot,” Fishbeck said.
In addition, Dugway’s chaplain, Maj. Stephen L. Dicks, was recognized for his work assisting the police department when officers face tough or emotional cases and need a listening ear.
“Whenever we have issues, out [in more metropolitan areas] we’d call a therapist or something to help, but here, we can call the chaplain, and he helps us with that,” Fishbeck said.
Dicks will be leaving Dugway for another military post, Fishbeck said.
Jeffrey Card, an officer with the police department, was also promoted to sergeant at the banquet.