Cedar Falls Public Safety has announced their 2021 service awards, recognizing team members who displayed exceptional achievement within the department over the past year. A small ceremony was held at the Public Safety Building, located at 4600 South Main Street, on May 11 to commemorate the event.
Awards included the 2020 Cedar Falls Police Officer of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, the RJ Voss Police Supervisor of the Year, Fire Supervisor of the Year, and the Scott Sterrett Reserve Police Officer of the Year. The ceremony also honored graduates of the 2020 Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, team promotions, and longevity recognition.
Police Chief Craig Berte, Fire Chief John Bostwick, Public Safety Director Jeff Olson, and City Administrator Ron Gaines were all in attendance with Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green providing closing remarks during the event.
"This past year has seen its fair share of challenges both in Iowa and across the nation," said Director Olson. "Our team has continued to display the dedication and commitment that exemplifies what it means to be true public servants. It is important to recognize these achievements and the work they do to protect and serve our citizens. We thank these individuals, as well as the entire Public Safety team, for their selfless leadership, dedication to the community, and daily sacrifice."
View the full ceremony below or visit youtube.com/watch?v=M7d4Pe8gTuk.
Cedar Falls Public Safety 2021 Award Recipients
*Excerpts taken from their nomination letters, submitted by department supervisors
Police Officer of the Year: Gavin Carman
"Though 2020 was a challenging time for our officers, Officer Carman remained diligent in his duties, productive, and demonstrated leadership as a senior officer through the pandemic. He trained and mentored new officers and handled hundreds of calls throughout the year, serving citizens in the most selfless way possible. He exemplified what it means to be a senior officer."
Firefighter of the Year: Austin Lechtenberg
"Austin Lechtenberg is always willing to help out with any assignment and consistently takes on additional duties. He is always looking to improve his knowledge, skills, and abilities. In addition to being certified in Firefighter2, Fire Instructor 1, and Driver/Operator, he is currently enrolled in Fire Officer 1. He is constantly looking towards the future and always tries to better himself and our department. His proficiency in performing his duties is a sign of his professionalism and dedication to executing at the highest level."
RJ Voss Supervisor of the Year: Brooke Heuer
"Lt. Heuer is one of the police divisions' senior lieutenants and can be counted on for her knowledge in the law, policies and procedures, and police division operations. Among her many duties, Lt. Heuer is the co-Reserve Officer Coordinator, assists in the police division's applicant testing, and continues to serve on the board for the new CAD system being developed for Black Hawk County."
Fire Supervisor of the Year: John Zolondek
"Lt. Zolondek demonstrates the leadership abilities that motivate others to do their best and help them reach their full potential. He serves as an instructor in our Fire Academy and is co-Reserve Coordinator for the department. One of the best traits Lt. Zolondek possesses is respect from his peers and his willingness to share his knowledge makes him stand out."
Scott Sterrett Reserve Officer of the Year: Tyler Griffin
"Tyler is always ready to assist and help out in any way he can, even on short notice. New reserve officers look to him for advice and support. His dedication to the reserve program demonstrates the core values of public safety and all reserve officers should strive for it."
Awards of Excellence
Officer Ryan Bellis
Officer Katie Burkhardt
Officer Kevin Hernandez
Officer Cedric Danilson
Firefighter Scott Dougan
Officer Kaleb Bruggeman