It was an “unhappy coincidence” that Tooele City Police Department’s “Officer of the Year,” was unable to accept his award Thursday, said Ronald D. Kirby, Tooele police chief. But Sgt. Roger Niespork, Sr. is in Virginia en-route to Iraq.
The 20-year veteran has retired for the force in order to work with a private contractor training the police in the war-torn nation. In his absence his son, detective Roger Niespork, Jr., accepted the award for him. Bringing his son into the business of police work is just part of Sgt. Niesporks legacy.
Kirby praised Sgt. Niespork Sr. for being a well-rounded employee. As medical examiner, Sgt. Niespork Sr. was deeply touched by some of the deaths in the city, Kirby said. Most notable was his instigating a collection to purchase flowers for the funeral of a young victim of abuse. The new officer of the year has also been helpful getting drugs off the street. But he has also been very helpful in the front office, Kirby said.
A new award, “Arrest of the Year,” was given to detective Roger Niespork, Jr. and Jason Sparks for their apprehending three individuals for extensive drug trafficking, distributions of methamphetamines and gun charges. The October arrest was the result of extensive detective work, Kirby said.
Two citizens, Paul Frailey and Scott Hunter, were recognized with “Citizen of the Year” awards for their heroics assisting city officers.
In the first case officer Rob Benson was trying to control a subject high on methamphetamines. The subject was “freaking out” on main street Kirby said. As Benson approached, the subject attacked him. Seeing the fracas, Frailey “offered some very timely assistance,” he said.
In his report of the incident, Frailey said he has gained “a new respect for what physical danger” the officers face every day.
Patrol officer Jorge Chilico also benefited from citizen’s support. Chilico was called out to investigate a mental subject on state Route 36. When the officer investigated the call he was attacked by the man who had a rock in his hand.
“The mentally ill can be extremely dangerous,” Kirby said, because they do not have the fear of harm most people have.
Seeing the attack, Hunter pulled over to help the officer. After assisting Chilico, Hunter drove off without leaving his name. But as he drove away, another officer on the scene managed to jot down his drivers license so the Kirby could offer him “my deepest, deepest appreciation,” he said, choking up with emotion.
Service awards were given to Chilico, Adrian Day, Don Nelson and Brian White.
Chilico was praised for his “enthusiasm and professionalism.” Day was honored for his high DUI arrest record, 44 in the past year.
“We call him the magician of DUI enforcement,” Kirby said.
Day was commended for his involvement in the field training program for new officers. Kirby said the program is stressful for both recruits and training officers, but Day has been an exceptional trainer.
White was applauded for his exceptional work in the financial crimes area.
The Phil Maynard award was given by Carol Maynard, widow of the man who started the Tooele City Senior Volunteer Patrol. Recalling her husband’s joy in service, Carol Maynard granted Pat Martin the award and commented how much her husband loved “teasing the girls and telling stories,” at the office.
Kirby took time to commend the city’s crossing guards, saying “they often go unrecognized for the things they do.” He also praised the senior volunteers, and employees of the departments.
As each new employee joins the force, he said, they bring their unique personality to the whole. While they may not see it, he notes each bring ‘personalities, professionalism and freshness” to the office.
Praising the group as a whole, he said, “I never cease to be amazed,” by the work done by Tooele City Police Force.
“So many things happen that nobody knows about,” he said, adding, “I believe all of these acts are recognized.”