The Dunwoody Police Department has announced its annual list of achievement awards for 2017.

“Our staff is dedicated to providing the highest level of service to the citizens in our community and our award recipients reflect that dedication. Every call is important to us and every incident is a priority,” Chief Billy Grogan said in a press release.

Those honored:

Officer of the Year
Detective Caleb Gilbert
Detective Gilbert acted as the lead detective in a large-scale commercial sex organization investigation which led to dozens of arrests.

More than 60 people, including a Gwinnett County prosecutor, were initially charged in the busts of alleged escort services operating from two apartment complexes. One of the services, police allege, operated across the street from the former City Hall and police headquarters.

In 2016, the Dunwoody Police Department received an anonymous tip from a concerned resident about a escort club based in Dunwoody. This tip led to a months-long investigation, which resulted in the identification of two organizations, Atlanta Gold Club Escorts and Lipstick and Shoes Escorts.

Marksman of the Year
Detective Caleb Gilbert
Gilbert had the highest firearms qualification score during the department’s spring firearms training.

Employee of the Year
Prisoner Transport Officer Hannah Madden
Prisoner Transport Officer Hannah Madden received multiple commendations throughout the year for her willingness to help, even outside her regular duties and long after her shift has ended.

Rising Star of the Year
Officer Ethan Taffar
The Rising Star award is presented to an officer that has less than two years of service with the Dunwoody Police Department and exemplifies outstanding qualities, characteristics, and effectiveness as a new officer with the department.

Top Cop Competition Winner
Sergeant Patrick Krieg
Top Cop is a multi-discipline competition which includes physical fitness, mental aptitude and shooting drills. Sergeant Krieg had the fastest overall time during this competition in 2017.

Medal of Meritorious Service-Life Saving

The Medal of Meritorious Service is awarded to an officer for outstanding performance during a lifesaving event. There were four recipients of this award for 2017.

Officer Yaakov Baum
On May 25, 2017, an Officer Yaakov Baum responded to medical call at Dunwoody Village Apartments. Once on scene, a 39-year-old male was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor. The victim’s lips were turning blue, eyes open, and his pupils were cloudy. Officer Baum recognized these indicators as signs of cardiac arrest and immediately began chest compressions on the patient while updating ChatComm of the situation.

After approximately 30 chest compressions, Officer Baum observed the victim beginning to take deep breaths on his own. The victim was later transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital as his condition improved. Because of Officer Baum’s quick response and life-saving actions – the victim survived.

Officer Rashida Moore, Sergeant Tim Fecht, Sergeant Harold “Trey” Nelson
On Nov. 15, 2017, Officer Moore, Sgt. Fecht and Sgt. Nelson responded to a residence in reference to a medical call where a female was unresponsive. Officer Moore acted quickly to apply an issued AED and began chest compressions. Moments later, Sergeants Fecht and Nelson arrived on scene. Sgt. Fecht administered the first of two Naloxone nasal spray doses. Officer Moore and Sgt. Nelson continued with chest compressions. It was not until the second dose of Naloxone that officers began to see some response from the victim. DeKalb Fire Rescue arrived on scene and began to assist the officers, eventually taking control of the scene. All three of these officers worked quickly and confidently to save this victim’s life.

Employee of the First Quarter
Crime Analyst Lisa Lee
Crime Analyst Lisa Lee was instrumental in the dismantling of a large scale commercial sex organization and her dedication and hard work unearthed numerous investigative findings, allowing the Criminal Investigations Division to approach this case so aggressively.

Officer of the Second Quarter
Officer Zachary Woodburn
Officer Woodburn was commended for his part in apprehending a restaurant burglary suspect on May 2, 2017. Officer Woodburn chased the suspect on foot after he fled out of the restaurant and was able to take him into custody without incident. As a result of this arrest, the suspect was charged with two other commercial burglaries in Sandy Springs. Officer Woodburn also received a commendation for his actions when he intervened in a serious medical call on May 2, 2017. He administered two doses of Naloxone to a female who was showing signs of a heroin overdose. The patient regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital.

Officer of the Third Quarter
Officer Josh Sanders
On Aug. 23, 2017, Officer Sanders located a homeless family living in their car. Officers Sanders paid a few night’s hotel charges for the family out of his own pocket, and worked with the hotel to get the homeless father a job and future accommodations. The hotel manager was so impressed that she emailed Mayor Shortal and other city personnel, praising Officer Sanders for his compassion towards total strangers. Officer Sanders also worked very hard during the 3rd quarter on our successful See and Be Seen on Halloween campaign to provide safety lights to children during Halloween season.

Employee of the Third Quarter
Elizabeth Stell
As one the department’s social media administrators and executive assistant to Chief Grogan, Liz Stell is heavily involved in our social media efforts and assists in creating projects to help drive our department into being a stand-out among other agencies in the areas of community relations and social media. One of the more successful social media projects during the 3rd quarter was DPD’s #LESelfieChallenge. Liz worked with the Norcross Police Department and the Metro Atlanta Law Enforcement Social Media Group group  to create this challenge. This project was a significant contribution towards “humanizing the badge” efforts, promoting law enforcement personnel “as people too.”

Officer of the Fourth Quarter
Officer Justin Hensal
Officer Hensal distinguished himself during the 4th quarter by being on the forefront of several notable arrests and stressful incidents. These incidents include a high-speed pursuit of a carjacking suspect who, at gunpoint, robbed a victim of their vehicle. Officer Hensal was also responsible for locating and arresting a major retail store burglary suspect on Oct. 13. On Oct. 20, Officer Hensal received praise for his efforts and persistence in locating a known drug dealer who fled from officers. The suspect eluded officers for quite some time, however, Officer Hensal remained on-scene long after his colleagues resumed their duties; searching by foot until he single handedly located the suspect hiding. On 12/20/17, Officer Hensal again demonstrated great resolve and determination when he located and arrested a carjacking suspect who, along with 3 other suspects, robbed a victim at gunpoint and stole a vehicle.

Employee of the Fourth Quarter
Police Service Representative Vanessa Ollee
During the 4th Quarter of 2017, Police Services Representative Vanessa Ollee volunteered to co-organize two successful community outreach programs. The first was the See & Be Seen on Halloween campaign and event, which took place on Oct. 26. The second event was Christmas for Kids. Vanessa once again volunteered to co-chair the committee responsible for the toy drive. The toy drive was successful and surpassed the committee’s expectations. The Christmas for Kids program was able to donate surplus toys to other neighborhood organizations.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.

One reply on “Dunwoody Police announce 2017 achievement awards”

  1. Congratulations to all officers, staff and Chief Billy Grogan. Dunwoody Police Department is an outstanding example of the positive outcomes and value of community partnership, leadership, and service.

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