Cpl. Dewayne Richesin has been named officer of the year by the Van Buren Police Department.
The presentation was made at the department’s annual awards banquet Jan. 27 at which numerous officers and employees received awards and commendations for the 2014 calendar year.
Richesin has been with the Van Buren Police Department since December 2007 and currently works as a school resource officer in the Van Buren School District. He also is a member of the department’s special response team.
"Cpl. Richesin gives 100 percent to all he does with the Van Buren Police Department and is well respected by other officers," said Police Chief Kenneth Bell. "Cpl. Richesin is also a role model for newer officers to look up to. He is well liked by the public and maintains his integrity both on and off duty.
Bell said Richesin has shown outstanding leadership by his job performance, perfect attendance and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that the police department reflects a positive image in the city.
Richesin also is a devoted family man who deeply cares about his family, Bell said.
The employee of the year award was given to Christy Davidson, who has been with the VBPD since March 2009. She serves as the department’s evidence technician.
Davidson has numerous responsibilities within the department and interacts with officers, employees and individuals from many entities within the city, county and state.
"She has a good relationship with fellow employees and makes great efforts to assist them with their needs," Bell said. "Christy does a very good job in her primary duties as evidence technician and has a very good relationship with all of our detectives who work closely with her in evidence related areas."
Bell said Davidson has to interact with the public frequently and does a good job working with those outside the department.
"Christy does a really good job of maintaining records and maintaining the integrity of evidence from initial collection all the way through the trial," Bell said.
Two life-saving awards were presented to two officers who performed CPR on a man who was found unresponsive in November 2014.
Cpl. Donald Eversole and Cpl. Mark House responded to the call of a man who became unresponsive due to a heart condition. When they arrived, Eversole and House immediately began life saving measures including CPR. The male subject was transported to the hospital where he survived after a two-week stay.
In a statement to police after he was released from the hospital, the victim’s wife said, "If they hadn’t shown up, I would have lost him."
Eversole and House were presented with life-saving awards for their heroic efforts to save the man’s life.
Two officers were presented with the Van Buren Police Department medal of valor, the second highest award that an officer can receive at the VBPD.
In April 2014, Sgt. Frank Petray and Lt. Brent Grill responded to a structure fire on North Sixth Street. They observed a large amount of smoke coming from the roof and there was a vehicle parked in the driveway indicating that someone may be home.
Both officers ran into the burning house and found the victim laying unresponsive in the floor. The officers pulled the woman from the house and medical personnel began treating the victim.
"Due to the heroic efforts of these two officers, the victim is alive today after several weeks of recovery," Bell said. "They were both presented with the Medal of Valor for their heroic and selfless acts."
Numerous other awards were presented at the ceremony including seven awards for perfect attendance, multiple commendations, top shooter awards and years of service awards.