By John Sharp
Photos by KCPD
The Kansas City Police Department honored 21 of its officers with Life-Saving and Meritorious Service Awards, Certificates of Commendation and Distinguished Service Medals during a December 7 ceremony at its Police Academy.
Many of their actions put their own lives in great danger.
Three of the Department’s civilian employees and two members of the public also were recognized for outstanding assistance they provided. Special Unit Citations for outstanding performance were presented to the Communications Unit, Traffic Investigations Unit and East Patrol Division 310 Sector Watch IIIA.
The 10 officers who received Life-Saving Awards were Officer Marc Canovi, Officer Jeremy Chick, Officer Mark Diviak, Officer Alayna Gonzalez, Detective Danielle Kincaid, Officer Cole Modeer, Sergeant Justin Pinkerton. Officer Michael Schneider, Officer Kirby Urbanek and Officer Dillon Viet.
Officer Noah Stigall received a Distinguished Service Medal for entering a burning house and saving two siblings from a raging fire. Officer Blaine Kennedy received a Distinguished Service Medal and a Purple Heart Award for taking a man into custody that he had believed needed medical attention and was trying to help who had stabbed him in the upper chest and was trying to escape.
Officer Joseph Chabot, Sergeant Billy Dotson, Officer Matthew Francois, Officer Darin Lutz, Officer Brandon Sherman and Officer Alexander Votaw received Certificates of Commendation.
Officer Scott Brulja, Captain William Hewitt and Officer Bradley Rains received Meritorious Service Awards as did civilian employee Kyle Wadlow and retired civilian employees Mike Russell and Deborah Yelverton.
Mike Smith, a tow truck driver for Quality Tow, and Ron Harvey, owner of Ron’s Auto & Truck Towing, were given Certificates of Appreciation for assisting a teenage driver who totaled her car with all her belongings inside in a one-car wreck not covered by her insurance while traveling through Kansas City from Utah to Georgia that was witnessed by Captain James Trout.
Smith towed her car for free and put Trout in touch with Harvey who gave the teenager a newer car with less mileage for no extra charge in return for her wrecked vehicle so she could continue her journey.