SPD recognizes promotions and honors award recipients

The Springfield Police Department hosted a combined awards and promotions ceremony for citizens and SPD staff at 2 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Springfield Art Museum. Staff and citizens were commended for their service, and in some cases, their bravery and extraordinary actions.

SPD Staff Promotions:

Sgt. Fred Beck promoted to lieutenant.
Cpl. Dustin Martin promoted to sergeant.
Derrick Anderson promoted to Senior GIS Specialist.

SPD’s Leadership Council Awards:

Citizen Service Commendation:
This award is presented to a citizen who, through a single act, provided assistance to the Springfield Police Department to meet an overall law enforcement objective.

Terry Lambert, Citizen Service Commendation

On the morning of August 2, 2015, Terry Lambert was riding his bike in the area of 507 W. College when he observed a male dragging a female into the alley as she called out for help. Mr. Lambert believed that officers were just down the street, so he quickly rode in that direction to advise them what he had just witnessed. Mr. Lambert was unable to locate the officers, so he responded back to the alley in an attempt to help the female when he observed the suspect running away from where the female was drug into the alley. Mr. Lambert followed the suspect to 620 W. College. Due to Mr. Lambert’s assistance, officers were able to locate the suspect at that location and arrest him for the attempted sexual assault. Mr. Lambert’s actions are a credit to this community, allowing officers to locate the suspect and take him into custody.

Citizen Service Medal:
This award is presented to any citizen who displayed an act of bravery and courage while providing assistance to the Springfield Police Department.

Trevor Logan, Citizen Service Medal

On the morning of August 2, 2015, Trevor Logan was responsible for stopping this attempted rape of a female in the alley of 507 W. College. Mr. Logan was walking by 507 W. College when he noticed the victim being dragged by a male into the alley. Mr. Logan watched as the male pushed the victim into a brick wall, attempting to sexually assault her. Mr. Logan yelled to the suspect, “What are you doing?” which caused the male to stop his assault on the female and flee the area. Soon after, Mr. Logan assisted further by positively identifying the suspect after he was located by officers. Mr. Logan’s actions are a credit to this community and made a difference in the outcome of the situation.

Citizen Service Citation:
This award shall be presented to those who distinguish themselves in the community by their commitment to law enforcement through being actively involved in law enforcement related activities.

Claudia Crighton, Citizen Service Citation

The City of Springfield has been fortunate in having Claudia Crighton working in the Department of Public Information and Civic Engagement for nearly 15 years. She has played a pivotal role in running and improving the operations of the Citizen Resource Center for the City. During monthly meetings, Claudia helps facilitate cooperation of numerous City departments in order to solve problems and complaints brought to the City’s attention by citizens. Claudia is responsible for handling 1,000 concerns from citizens per year, ensuring they are assigned to the proper department for handling so that issues are appropriately investigated and resolved. Even though Claudia normally interacts with citizens who are unhappy, she welcomes the calls of the complaints, giving her the nickname, “The Complaint Lady.”

Anyone who ever has the pleasure of having contact with Claudia will always find her with a smile on her face and nothing short of a positive attitude. Her ability to communicate effectively and treat people in a fair manner contributes greatly to the City’s commitment of providing quality service to our citizens.

Life Saving Award:
This award is presented to department personnel who personally save a life, normally involving one of the learned life supporting processes outside of routine measures.

Officer Kelby Dickensheet, Life Saving Award

On August 1, 2015, Officer Kelby Dickensheet was off duty and eating dinner with his family at Leong’s Asian Diner. During his meal, Officer Dickensheet noticed a female, Lorraine Dellasandro, appeared to be choking at a nearby table. Officer Dickensheet approached Lorraine and noticed that she was not breathing and appeared to be turning blue in color. Officer Dickensheet took a hold of Lorraine and applied the Heimlich Maneuver, which dislodged a large piece of food from her airway, allowing Lorraine to begin breathing normally. She was checked out by EMS personnel, requiring no further medical assistance. Lorraine later advised that she was not able to breathe at the time and believed that Officer Dickensheet was her “hero” who had “saved her life.” Officer Dickensheet’s actions epitomize the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and greatly reflect the values of this department.

Meritorious Service Award:
This is awarded to department personnel who, in the protection of life or furtherance of justice, exhibit conduct which is exceptional.

On January 26, 2015, at 1:23 a.m., Officer Aaron Pearson was critically wounded when he was shot in the face while assisting other officers with a check on a suspicious person at Chestnut Expressway and Glenstone Avenue. Several officers were by Aaron’s side immediately after this happened, and how they each handled the incident showed that they possess great judgment, compassion, leadership and professionalism. This group of people exemplified meritorious service to the citizens of Springfield and they reflect great credit upon her courage and bravery during an extremely difficult, emotional and stressful situation.

Officer Wade McElfresh, Meritorious Service Award

Officer McElfresh was the first officer to locate Officer Pearson. Officer McElfresh quickly gave out clear and concise radio traffic to alert other officers to what had occurred and to start the medical response. Officer McElfresh had been dealing with another known police character just before the shooting. He found that this person was now advancing on him while he was trying to tend to Officer Pearson, but he was able to keep this subject back. Officer McElfresh handled this incident with the utmost professionalism and calm demeanor even though he was faced with tending to his coworker and close friend’s critical injuries.

Cpl. Chris Nuccio, Meritorious Service Award

Cpl. Nuccio arrived on scene and immediately began life-saving efforts on Officer Pearson by treating his head wound, monitoring his vital signs and prepping him for medical transport. Cpl. Nuccio followed the ambulance to the hospital where he collected essential evidence and photographs while Officer Pearson was operated on. Cpl. Nuccio provided Sgt. Heather Anderson with critical updates of Officer Pearson’s condition throughout his operation and did not leave his side while he was in the operating room.

Sgt. Tonya Price, Meritorious Service Award

Sgt. Price arrived and began life-saving efforts but was quickly redirected to begin setting up a perimeter for the crime scene and the search for the suspect. Sgt. Price maintained and controlled this perimeter for several hours throughout the night and into the morning hours. She was essential in providing updates to Lt. Eric Reece on the location of search teams and any problems or issues that arose. Sgt. Price’s quick actions of setting up the perimeter were essential in the suspect being contained and located inside the perimeter where he was safely taken into custody.

Cpl. Steve Ramey, Meritorious Service Award

Cpl. Ramey responded to the scene where he quickly realized the importance of documenting the scene. He retrieved his camera and began capturing photographs of the crime scene as well as photographs of Officer Pearson’s injuries. Due to his poise and critical thinking in an extremely emotional and stressful situation, Cpl. Ramey was able to capture essential evidentiary photos of the scene and Officer Pearson’s injuries that will be of utmost importance if this case goes to trial.

Sgt. Heather Anderson, Meritorious Service Award

Sgt. Anderson arrived on scene shortly after the shooting and also began life-saving efforts on Officer Pearson. She noticed that Officer Pearson appeared to be going into shock and requested that another officer bring her an Ambu bag. She then assisted in giving Officer Pearson extra breaths until the EMS arrived. Sgt. Anderson followed the ambulance to the hospital where she coordinated the collection of evidence. Sgt. Anderson was also essential in receiving and providing updates on Officer Pearson’s condition.

Lt. Fred Beck, Meritorious Service Award

Sgt. Beck responded to the scene and began assisting with life-saving efforts of Officer Pearson. He continually talked to Officer Pearson, encouraging him to remain conscious. Sgt. Beck assisted with removing Officer Pearson’s clothing, bulletproof vest and his duty belt to help speed up Officer Pearson’s medical treatment. After Officer Pearson was transported to the hospital, Sgt. Beck stayed on scene to aid with management of the perimeter, the manhunt for the armed suspect and the security of the crime scene.

Sgt. David Stone, Meritorious Service Award

Sgt. Stone arrived and began helping secure the inner crime scene and coordinate other tasks. Due to Officer Pearson’s condition, Sgt. Stone was sent to Republic, Missouri, to contact his wife, Amanda Pearson. Sgt. Stone contacted the Republic Police Department and asked them to meet him at the Pearsons’ residence. Sgt. Stone ultimately made contact with Amanda where he had the difficult and emotional task of explaining to her that Aaron had been shot and was critically injured. Sgt. Stone then transported Amanda to the hospital and stayed with the family until he was relieved.

Command Commendation:
This is awarded to department personnel who distinguish themselves by a single act or series of actions that impact the community in a positive manner, or significantly improve the ability of the SPD to fulfill its mission. Actions must be creditable, show intelligent and determined effort beyond reasonably expected job performance and must produce documentable results.

Lt. Eric Reece, Command Commendation

Lt. Reece arrived on scene shortly after the shooting and took immediate command of the overall incident. Lt. Reece began making assignments to ensure a multitude of tasks were simultaneously handled to include establishing an inner and outer perimeter and sending officers to follow the ambulance to the hospital and Sgt. Stone to contact Officer Pearson’s wife and transport her to the hospital. Within just moments of making these assignments, Lt. Reece made the necessary chain of command notifications. Lt. Reece remained on scene and in command of the incident for several hours. He did not relinquish his command of the scene until the suspect was located.

Purple Heart Award:
This is awarded to department personnel who are seriously injured in the line of duty. The Purple Heart will only be awarded once during an individual’s career. Any subsequent actions deemed worthy of a Purple Heart will be documented with an oak leaf cluster attached to the original award.

Retired Officer Aaron Pearson, Purple Heart

When he arrived in the area, he located a suspect walking eastbound along the north side of Chestnut Expressway. During Officer Pearson’s attempt to contact him, the subject turned and fired several rounds from a handgun. One of those rounds struck Officer Pearson just below his left eye. This wound would later result in the loss of his left eye and damage of sections of his brain which would lead to him receiving a duty disability retirement. Since that horrific day, Officer Pearson has fought hard to rehabilitate himself, and his recovery thus far has been nothing short of miraculous. Officer Pearson’s incredible courage and strength has inspired his brothers and sisters in blue and people from all over the country. Officer Pearson was awarded the Purple Heart for the gunshot injury he received on January 26, 2015. He placed the safety and protection of the community and his fellow officers as a top priority. His actions on that day demonstrated his commitment to the community and the Springfield Police Department.