For Al Dia Today
PALM BAY – Chief Doug Muldoon and members of the department command staff recognized more than a dozen employees, Tuesday night for actions that went above and beyond their normal duties. Chief Muldoon presented awards for the Officer of the Year, Civilian of the Year, Meritorious Service, Life Saving and other acts of merit during the annual awards ceremony for achievements that occurred during the 2012 calendar year.
“I truly believe we have the best and brightest protecting and serving the citizens of Palm Bay,” said Chief Doug Muldoon.
“These officers and civilians dedicate themselves to making a positive difference each and every day and the result is a safer community and I am so proud of them and grateful for their efforts.”
Among the award recipients was Officer Josh Taylor who was recognized as the 2012 Officer of the Year. Officer Taylor has been with the department for 11 years and during his tenure he has received numerous commendations and letters of recognition for outstanding performance of his duties. Among them were several responses to critical incidents involving dangerous suspects and crime trends that were effectively managed to successful conclusions yielding positive results for the safety of the citizens in the community.
Among those critical incidents was an armed robbery at a local pharmacy that was still in progress when Officer Taylor arrived. In that incident which occurred last November the suspect held the pharmacist at gunpoint while he demanded money and drugs. As the suspect fled, he pointed the gun at Officer Taylor and attempted to fire as he fled the scene. In response, Officer Taylor shot and wounded the suspect who was later arrested for the crime. “Officer Taylor’s actions that day no doubt saved lives,” Chief Muldoon said.
The Civilian of the Year award was presented to Crime Analyst Dawn Strickland who was recognized for her consistent and effective efforts at helping detectives and patrol officers with research and information needed to help with criminal investigations. “Dawn’s efforts have gone a long way in helping make our city safer,” Chief Muldoon said. “She is a shining example of why this agency is so successful at not only solving crime but preventing it as well.”
Officer James Bearden and Officer Shane Carroll were presented the Medal of Valor for their response to an investigation involving a heavily armed suspect who threatened to harm family members and any officers that responded to his home. During attempts to make the arrest the suspect fired shots at officers wounding Officer Bearden. Cpl. Steve Hill and Officer Darin Morgan received the Distinguished Service Cross for their role in rendering aid to Officer Bearden while the scene was still active. The suspect was later taken into custody after a 7-hour standoff.
Officer Josh Taylor was also awarded the Medal of Valor for his response to the November armed robbery.