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Hats off

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Police Department salutes the best of the best

By Carolyn Ten Broeck

Scores of people celebrated the men and women who keep Williston safe, while saying goodbye to their leader who has mentored, instructed and trained them for 12 years.
Daniel Davis and the officers and staff of the Williston Police Department were honored last week at the 11th Annual Police Awards Banquet, held at Williston Crossings.
“Dan Davis surrounds himself with good people,” Williston Mayor Gerald Hethcoat said, adding that Davis’ retired was “earned the hard way.”
Accolades came from many that evening, but it was Capt. Clay Connolly, the interim police chief, who summed up the thoughts of many.
Connolly said in his tenure as police chief, Davis had raised the bar and brought a heightened sense of professionalism to the already-good department.
Under Davis’ supervision, more community outreach and involvement was inaugurated and a finely tuned policy manual was created.
“You have devoted yourself to the welfare of our citizens,” Connolly said as he awarded Davis with the David Wayne Moss Humanitarian Award.
State Attorney William “Bill” Cervone, the evening’s keynote speaker, echoed the words of the many before him but also lauded the department as a whole.
“It would be remiss not to say what a wonderful police department  you have,” Cervone said.
He told the audience that oftentimes people never give a thought to the police–unless they see the blue lights in the rearview mirror. And then they never thank them–until the blue lights in the rearview mirror go around them.
“They deserve our thanks every waking single day,” he said.
Cervone praised the close working relationship his office has with the Williston Police Department and joked that Davis often referenced his work in Maryland. He said now Davis can boast, “In Williston, this is the way we do it.”
The state attorney also commended Davis’ timing with his retirement, saying that unlike some three-day guests who stay a week, or a pro-athete who doesn’t know when his glory days are over, Davis knew the right time to hang up his gun belt.
“It’s been a pretty good run in a pretty difficult job,” Cervone said. “There’s nothing average about the Williston Police Department, and that’s because of you, my friend.”
Others honored Friday night included:
• Judi Yaeger for her contributions to the community and charitable works.
• Wayne Carson for his work with WAG and the compassion he shows for dogs.
• Jackie Williams, a crossing guard, who saved a child’s life by pushing him away from a speeding car.
• Charles Caldwell, a crossing guard, for his exemplary work in front of Williston High School.
• Kim Riddle for outstanding work in dispatch.
• Gail Brown for going above and beyond her  duties to ensure smooth operations in the department.
• Micah Alfaro and Kevin Osborn for their roles in rescuing a baby who was kidnapped in a stolen car.
• Mike Bracaglia–Officer of the Year– for being postive, affable and solid; doing what’s right and being a great contributor to the community.