Hodge is CPD Officer of the Year

Chief Gibson: Hodge exemplifies department commitment to community

By ALLEN MINCEY Staff Writer
Posted 8/5/17

The Cleveland Police Department honored many of its officers this past week at the first awards luncheon held at the Museum Center at Five Points.

Though all awards presented were extremely …

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Hodge is CPD Officer of the Year

Chief Gibson: Hodge exemplifies department commitment to community


The Cleveland Police Department honored many of its officers this past week at the first awards luncheon held at the Museum Center at Five Points.

Though all awards presented were extremely important, some received individual awards, including 2017 Officer of the Year awarded to Patrolman Josh Hodge.

Other individuals received awards during the luncheon. They included Civilian of the Year to Gail Tilley, the Distinguished Peer Award to Travis Weber, and a special Appreciation Award to Eleazar Diaz. The CPD’s Public Service Unit was recognized as Volunteers of the Year, and the department’s Bravo team, led by Lt. Guy Ferguson and Sgt. Billy Cochran, were named by the Team of the Year.

Other awards presented at the luncheon included those for Community Service, Good Conduct, Safe Driver, Education, Military Service, Life Saving, Meritorious Service and the Chief’s Achievement Award and Letters of Commendation.

The following received awards:

Community Service — Sgt. Chris Allen, Sgt. Scott Bronze, officers Sean Bulow, Victor Cleveland, Deanna Cochran, Willie Espinoza, and Kody Fox, Detectives Danie Gibbs, Cody Hinson, Sgt. Chris Jacques, officers Erik Jones, Matt Landolt, Tyler McGuire, Nathan Milam, Julius Porter, Jacob Varnell and Steve West, and Detective Andy Wattenbarger.

Good Conduct Award — Sgt. Chris Allen, Sgt. Matt Bailey, Officer Brandy Brown, Officer Scott Criddle, Officer Kody Fox, Officer Mike Harris, Officer Mike Kelly, Officer John Milen, Officer Brian Montgomery, Sgt. Mike Moses., Officer Julius Porter, Officer April Ratcliff, Officer Bobby Ruth, Officer Jennifer Samples, Officer Richard Tanksley, Detective Brett Taylor, Officer Jacob Varnell and Sgt. Evie West.

Safe Driver Award — Sgt. Chris Allen, Officer Scott Criddle, Officer Kody Fox, Officer Mike Harris, Officer John Milen, Officer Brian Montgomery, Sgt. Mike Moses, Officer Julius Porter, Officer Jonathan Prince, Lt. Brian Pritchard, Officer April Ratcliff, Officer Bobby Ruth, Officer Jennifer Samples, Officer Richard Tanksley, Officer Jacob Varnell and Sgt. Evie West.

Educational Achievement Award — Associate’s Degree — Officer Matthew Formont, Officer Kody Fox, Officer John Milen, Officer Josh Nix, Detective Andy Ratcliff, Officer Bobby Ruth, Officer Stephen Warner and Detective Andy Wattenbarger.

Educational Achievement Award — Bachelor’s Degree — Sgt. Chris Allen, Officer Sean Bulow, Officer Charles Burke, Officer Jon Collins, Officer Blair Kent, Officer Jen McGuire, Officer Matt Norfleet, Officer Whitney Owens, Officer Nick Payne and Officer Taylor Thompson.

Educational Achievement Award — Master’s degree — Lt. Scott Bronze, Officer Russell Fredericks and Officer Julius Porter.

Military Service Award — Officer Sean Bulow, Officer Josh Hodge and Officer Nick Payne.

Letter of Commendation — Sgt. Chris Allen, Sandy Bowles, M.P.O. Charles Burke, Officer James (J.R.) Burnette, Detective Daniel Gibbs, Detective Cody Hinson, Officer Josh Hodge, Officer Erik Jones, Officer Blair Kent, Officer Chris Mason, Officer DeWaun Massengill, Officer Dax McGowan, Officer Taylor Thompson, Barbie Watson, Detective Andy Wattenbarger and Officer Steve West.

Officer Michael Gunnell, Officer Tracy Maxfield and Lt. Brian Pritchard were presented the Life Saving Award for an incident on May 19, 2017.

The three officers responded to a possible suicide at Horizon Square Apartments. Maxfield found a pulse and they moved the female victim’s head to clear an airway. When she stopped breathing, Pritchard began CPR, and a pulse and breathing returned. When the female again stopped breathing, Maxfield gave mouth to mouth, and Pritchard resumed CPR. When EMT and the Fire Department arrived, the female was intubated and given oxygen via a pump. She was transported to Tennova Healthcare. She has recovered.

Maxfield was also recognized for efforts in saving the life of a woman on Jan. 14, 2016. When he responded to CPR in progress at Staples, he found a SETHRA bus driver (Christine Jackson) administering CPR while receiving instruction from 911. He took over the CPR on a woman lying on the floor of the bus. Maxfield continued CPR until Bradley County Emergency Services took over and transported her to the hospital.

Receiving the Chief’s Achievement Award were Officer John Carson, Sgt. Billy Cochran and Officer Don Nation.

On May 24, 2016, Carson responded to an armed robbery at Ameri-Cash. During a search for the two suspects, Carson located their vehicle at Ace Hardware, where it had been involved in an accident. Carson identified and detained the two armed robbery suspects.

Cochran was recognized for his “continual support in training and medical support to officers and candidates.”

Nation “goes above and beyond while conducting investigations. This hard work has yielded some impressive drug and weapons arrests and taken some dangerous criminals off the streets. Officer Nation has an infectious attitude that benefits his department.”

“This CPD Awards luncheon is our way of showing recognition for achievements observed within the department throughout the year,” Gibson told the officers and their families in attendance. “These are achievements that the average citizen may not see. However, those of us who serve together see the effort and commitment you put into your work.

“We also want to recognize your families for supporting you,” Gibson said to the officers. “We all understand the sacrifices they make including time and important events that prevent your presence. We must never forget how much our families contribute to our success.”

Many who received awards were not able to be present, as they were still working their regular police shifts. Gibson had a message for all of the department’s employees.

“I honor each of you for your selfless sacrifice and the service you provide for our community as members of the Cleveland Police Department,” he said.

Gibson said that the awards luncheon will become an annual event, and was pleased to be able to honor those officers, their families and individuals who lead to the success of the department.


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