SAVANNAH, GA (April 12, 2017) – On Wednesday, April 12, the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department presented awards to dozens of officers and civilian staff for their bravery, dedication and outstanding performance.

Chief Joseph H. Lumpkin honored six groups of officers and civilian staff with the Unit-Teamwork Citation. “None of us can do this without others. Teamwork is a very important element of what we do,” Chief Lumpkin said. “I extend a special thanks to the officers and civilians here today for their willingness to do a tough job.”

The Budget Office was recognized for orchestrating support and supplies for the annual St. Patrick’s Day festival. They were also commended for providing the logistical support needed to hire a record 136 officers in 2016. Karen Williams, Cherquila Hicks, and Vernell Mitchell received the award.

The Violent Crimes Unit was recognized for ending 2016 with a 76% homicide clearance rate, which far surpasses the national average. The award was accepted by Lt. David Barefield, Lt. Racine Chaney, Lt. Andre Jackson, Sgt. Hiram Rivera, Sgt. Robert Santoro, Det. Askisi Baker, Det. Eric Blaser, Det. Zachary Burdette, Det. Udon Carter, Det. Antwan Diggs, Det. Brittany Dobbs, Sgt. Kevin Elleby, Det. Kevin Fikes, Det. John Garcia, Det. Rebekah Gregory, Det. Bryony Harris, Det. John Hauber, Det. Patrick Johnson, Det. Rico Jordan, Det. Jason Manley, Det. John Morris, Det. Alli Nichols, Det. Chris Ross, Det. Michael Rowan, Det. Jacob Schroyer, Det. Eric Smith, Det. Richard Wiggins, Margaret Boyer, and Priyanka Pardeshi.

Central Precinct C-Watch was recognized for their effective use of verbal de-escalation skills to peacefully resolve a crisis situation with a mental health consumer, who was putting his safety, his family’s safety, and officers’ safety at risk. The award was accepted by Sgt. Marcus Graves, Cpl. Patrick Boleman, Cpl. Larry Brown, Cpl. Derrick Roberson, Officer Brett Baldwin, Officer Derek Bradley, Officer Brian Felnoy, Officer Amir Moustafa, Officer Jacob Powell, Officer Thomas Trentacosta, and Officer Ryan Chaffin.

The Oakview Drive Home Invasion Response Team was recognized for apprehending two home invasion suspects, who led police through two precincts. The award was accepted by Sgt. Marcus Graves, Sgt. Ruben Colon, Cpl. Christopher Ameduri, Cpl. Rufus Brown, Cpl. Larry Brown, Cpl. Glenn Castro, Cpl. Michael Dobson, Cpl. Steven Kohles, APO Joseph Hood, APO Darryl Repress, Officer Derek Bradley, Officer Brian Felnoy, Officer Tanner Hoover, Officer Tori Klewick-McNutt, Officer Vanessa Petrea, Officer Jacob Powell, Officer Thomas Trentacosta, Officer Benjamin Valdiviseo, and Officer Warren Weir.

The Missing Child Search Team was recognized for organizing the successful search and rescue of a missing child, who was abandoned in the woods by a robbery suspect. The award was accepted by Lt. Andre Jackson, Sgt. Sean Carr, Sgt. Marcus Graves, Sgt. Max Nowinsky, SCpl. Mark Tuttle, Cpl. Michael Drayton, Cpl. Richard Moore, APO Isaiah Davis, APO Thomas Howe, Officer William Barnett, Officer Joshua Chatting, Officer Anthony Christie, Officer William Daniels, Officer Amir Delic, Officer Omar Fernandez, Officer Scott Gashi, Officer Kevin Jean-Louis, Officer Tim McNeely, and Theresa Miles.

The Missing Elderly Woman Search Team was recognized for organizing the successful search and rescue of an elderly woman. The award was accepted by Sgt. Chris Benda, Sgt. Christopher Hewett, Sgt. Samantha Stephens, SCpl. Ricky Davis, Cpl. Sean Organ, Cpl. Dabureau Samuels, Cpl. Eugene Solomon, Det. Abby Brown, Det. Aaron Fox, Det. Alycia McLemore, Det. Adina Ripley, Det. Jerry Sanders, APO Amber Brenner, Officer Joseph Altomare, Officer Alexander Gammon, Officer Edwin Myrick, Officer Mark Nelson, Officer Bradley Winn, and CRO David Scheuerer.

Also at today’s ceremony, all officers who worked during Hurricane Matthew were awarded with a Hurricane pin. These pins acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice made by SCMPD officers during the storm, as they worked tirelessly to keep the community safe.

The teamwork displayed by these officers and civilians illustrates their commitment both to SCMPD and to improving the safety of the City and County. “Effective teamwork and communication are essential for the safety of our community,” Chief Lumpkin said.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” Assistant Chief Juliette Tolbert told those in attendance. “This department will continue to grow because of your team efforts.”