On Wednesday, January 31, numerous Cheyenne Police Officers and professional staff members were awarded for exceptional performance in their duties. The annual award ceremony was held at the Public Safety Center with City officials, members of the department, and families in attendance.
Awards were presented in 14 categories to over 80 employees, including Officer of the Year, Specialty Officer of the Year, Civilian of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year.
“Each officer, civilian, and volunteer plays a crucial role in the overall success of our operations and well-being of our community,” said Chief Mark Francisco. “It is important to hear these stories and celebrate their achievements.”
Heroic stories were highlighted during the event – like that of Officer Micah Veneigas. In October, he applied a tourniquet to the arm of a gunshot victim. The bullet severed an artery, and the quick actions of the officer saved the victim’s life.
The Officer of the Year award was presented to Officer Kaitlin Peterson. Throughout her career, she has regularly performed above and beyond what is expected while serving the department in multiple roles – as a patrol officer, squad leader, Field Training Officer, and a new member of the Bomb Squad. During the awards ceremony, she received multiple recognitions for her work throughout the year.
Detective Mike Fernandez received Specialty Officer of the Year for his outstanding work as an investigator. He was recognized for his overall body of work while serving the Detective Bureau, as well as the determination he exhibited as the lead detective assigned to a homicide in April 2023. Additional case highlights included breaking up a check fraud ring and detecting an interstate theft group.
The Civilian of the Year Award was presented to Amy Dillon for her tireless work in the Recruiting Division. Her efficiency and streamlined operations have expedited the hiring process and resulted in her being selected for this award.
Harriet “Binney” Stevenson was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year. She has contributed thousands of hours of service to the department and celebrated her 25th anniversary as a volunteer during the ceremony. Her dedication and commitment to helping the community is truly commendable.
Meritorious Service awards were presented to Officer Greg Hutchinson, Detective Ty Volin, Officer James Womack, and Conner Collins for their exemplary performance. The Chief’s Award was presented to Officer Mark Ehlman for his high quality of work and professional performance on the Traffic Unit and Major Crash Unit. Unit Citations were also given to eight teams that demonstrated excellence during complex incidents.
Additionally, Ellie vanSwearingen, the wife of a Cheyenne Police Officer, was honored with the Family Member award for supporting department personnel. Officers were also awarded for firearms proficiency with the Top Shot going to Officer Nathanial Lucero. Physical fitness awards were given to 17 members who scored above 75% on PT tests.