Top officers for 2012 in the Duluth Police Department were honored at the annual Awards Luncheon. Uniformed police, supervisors, support personnel, and civilian employees were recognized.
- Officer Donnie Diggs - Officer of the Year
- Cpl. Randy Bassett - “Top Gun” Award (Marksmanship)
- Cpl. Ingrid Smith - Supervisor of the Year
- Tony Carr - Civilian Employee of the Year
Commendations were presented to officers who performed in outstanding ways over the past year. Receiving commendations were Lt. Jacquelyn Hood, Officer Amanda Nix, Sgt. Steve Walker, Officer Bobby Porter, Cpl. Sruthy Kuruvilla, Officer Misty Howell and K9 Alf, Operator Amber Snavely, Operator Layla Corley, Sgt. William Petty, Detective Heather Kish, and Detective Fran Foster.
Also in attendance at the Feb. 22 luncheon were local business owners and community leaders who have joined together to help continue the awards banquet after it was cut from the city budget several years ago as a cost saving measure. “Because of the generosity of this outstanding community we are able to have this event,” said Police Chief Randy Belcher.
Chief Belcher also announced that the City of Duluth had reclaimed the title of lowest crime rate in Gwinnett County. The city had held this designation for many years, but had lost it in 2010 and 2011.
For the fourth year, Anna Huthmaker of Huthmaker Violins, headed up Project Appreciation to sponsor the luncheon. After she heard that due to the budget cuts, the police department quietly decided it would do away with its annual awards banquet rather than reducing services, Huthmaker sprang into action.
Every year since she has contacted members of the community and asked for donations so the police department could continue to have a nice banquet to honor officers who risk their lives each and every day to protect the city and its citizens.
Donors for this year's event included Huthmaker Violins, Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris, Councilwoman Marsha Bomar, Councilman Billy Jones, Jack and Stephanie Wolfe, Corporate Expressions, Ronald and Gay Shook, Lucille Walker, Carol Hitchcock, Robert Jones, the Duluth Fall Festival, and Bill Head Funeral Home.