By Ian Perrotta
It was all about the men and women behind the shield on Wednesday (June 21) at Under the Eagle. The police department held an awards ceremony to commemorate its top officers over the past two years.
The event was conceived by Police Chief Mark Kalinowski, who took over the department last year with the intention of shaking things up for the better. After increasing police presence in the city and working to build a stronger relationship between the department and Hamtramck’s citizens, he decided to focus his attention inward and celebrate the achievements of his officers.
To do so, he brought back the tradition of handing out citations for exemplary police work and naming an Officer of the Year for the department. The last time an Officer of the Year was named was sometime in the late 1990s.
“Something like this means a lot not just for the individual officers that receive the awards,” he said, “but for the department and city as a whole. People don’t usually hear about the good things that the police are doing, and this gives them an opportunity to see otherwise.”
Kalinowski presented Officer of the Year awards for last year and the year prior. Gregory Collins was named the 2008 Officer of the Year for single-handedly tracking down and apprehending a violent carjacker. David Donnell captured the 2009 award for regularly performing above and beyond the call of duty.
Citations for courageous and commendable policing during the current year were also awarded by Kalinowski. They went to Gregory Collins, Joseph Abbo, Andrew Mileski, Dennis Nunlee, Richard Seely, Jonathon Bondra, Edward Nolan, Anne Moise, Robert George, Evan Bavarskas, Patrick Thull, Michael Fedenis, Scott (Wilbur) Robinson, Glen Kay, Joseph Reardon, and Craig Serafino.