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CPD gives out honors at annual Christmas party

COVINGTON - The Covington Police Department recently honored its own at its annual Christmas party.

Top honors were taken by several officers, but Officer Brent Fuesting took two top awards. He was named Officer of the Year for 2008, as well as Employee of the Year for the Patrol Division. Employee of the Year honors for Criminal Investigation went to Detective Steve Fowler and Employee of the Year for the Support Services/Community Outreach Division went to Officer Jeff Bruno.

Officer Kevin Cribb was named Rookie of the Year; Officer Doug Allen was named Top Gun for his scores on the firing range, and Detective Michael Tinsley received an award for having the highest overall average firing range score. Top Physical Training Awards were handed out to Detective D.J. Seals, Officer Jeff Bruno, Officer Chip Shirah, Officer Ken Cribb and Sgt. Allen Martin. Earning top honors for physical training was Officer Paul Madsen who made a perfect 3.0 score on both physical training tests given twice annually.

Several departmental commendations were handed out to officers who went above and beyond the call of duty during 2008.

Three officers were commended for their efforts during the armed robbery of the Royal Palace restaurant on U.S. 278.

"Officer Asher Dozier arrived first and set up a perimeter and ran to Bojangles to assist in capturing one suspect," said CPD spokesman Lt. Wendell Wagstaff. "Sgt. Allen Martin and Officer Gene Nuqui apprehended the second suspect at Applebee's. Because of their fine work and capture of two robbery suspects, we granted them departmental homage."

A second citation went to Officer Julie English for her role in capturing murder suspects.

"Officer English was able to locate the suspects in a murder that occurred in Magnolia Heights," Wagstaff said, adding that the victim's body had been taken by car to a home on Woodland Avenue where the car entered a garage and the door was put down. "She was able to catch them by continuing her search after it had been declared a bogus call. Her determination and expertise on Spillman (a database used by the CPD) led to the apprehension of these suspects. If we had not had the laptops in our cars, we probably would not have gotten to the scene quick enough."

A third departmental citation went to Officer Eric Almond who spotted a suspect vehicle on I-20 after receiving a BOLO from Morgan County that an armed robbery had just occurred there. He was able to apprehend the suspect.

Wagstaff said Mayor Kim Carter, members of the Covington City Council and City Manager Steve Horton were present at the event, and outgoing Sheriff Joe Nichols was the guest of honor.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.