The workers of the Sherwood Police Department recently were honored as being the officer, dispatcher/detention officer, and civilian employees of the year.

The three individuals were also recognized before a recent meeting of the Sherwood City Council.

Leasha Rice was recognized as the 2012 police officer of the year.

"It is with great pleasure that I inform you that you have been selected as the Sherwood Department Officer of the year for 2012," said Police Chief James Bedwell by a letter to her. "I, therefore, take this opportunity to commend you for your dedication, devotion to duty, professionalism and untiring spirit."

During 2012, Bedwell said she consistently demonstrated a superior degree of enthusiasm and dedication as she carried out the strenuous duties of a difficult and vital job.

During the year, she was responsible for 34 DWI arrests, 92 arrests that were drug related, 21 felony arrests and a variety of many other arrests.

"In 2012, you compiled a total of 453 traffic and criminal charges on numerous people," said the chief. "In doing so, you have made Sherwood a safer place."

Bedwell said Rice also be recognized for being a team player.

"You frequently meet or call members of the Criminal Investigation Division and the Street Crimes Division in order to share information," Bedwell said. "You then take that information and pass it on to your fellow officers. This demonstrates your passion to be as informed as possible so that you can perform your jot to the best of your ability."

Bedwell added, "Your consistent high level of personal initiative and your persistent pursuit of excellence are major contributing factors to your successful accomplishments."

Todd Abbott was chosen to be the department’s dispatcher/detention officer of the year for 2012.

"During this last year you have consistently demonstrated a superior degree of enthusiasm, dedication and devotion to duty as a member of the dispatch/detention branch with the Sherwood Police Department," Bedwell said by letter to Abbott. "The diligent and professional manner in which you performed your duty has earned you the respect of your peers and supervisors. You consistently demonstrate your willingness to assist all members of the Sherwood Police Department and to take on additional duties as needed."

Bedwell said Abbott’s efforts are recognized daily.

"You are consistently there to lend a helping hand without complaints," Bedwell said. "You take great pride in your work and regularly take on additional responsibilities. You can always be counted on to work extra shifts anytime there is a shortage on the schedule, even though it meant sacrificing your personal and family time."

On Dec. 26, 2012, Abbott began walking to work from his home in Jacksonville.

"You had left your vehicle at the Sherwood Police Department at the end of your shift on Dec. 25, 2012, because we had received 11 inches of snow," Bedwell said. "When I asked you why you had begun walking instead of calling someone for a ride, you told me that you did not want to bother anybody and you had made a commitment to this job."

Abbott additionally serves as the department’s training officer for dispatch/detention workers.

"You have assisted in the training of one new officer in 2012," Bedwell said. "Your dedication to the training program shows in the efforts you put forth to ensure that the new officers are able to perform the duties of dispatch/detention at the level that has come to be expected by the Sherwood Police Department."

James Spradlin has been chosen as the 2012 civilian employee of the year.

"During the last year you consistently demonstrated a superior degree of enthusiasm, dedication and devotion to duty as a member of the operational support division with this department, Bedwell said.

Spradlin is assigned to the department’s support services office as a logistics support technician.

"The diligent and professional manner in which you performed your duty has earned you the respect of your peers and supervisors," Bedwell said. "You have consistently demonstrated your willingness to assist all members of the department and take on additional duties whenever needed."

Bedwell said Spradlin is the type of employee who doesn’t complaint when given additional responsibility.

"You take great pride in your work and continue to find ways to improve your area of responsibility," Bedwell said. "This area includes, but not limited to, fleet management and supplies. You ensure that the officers’ vehicles are repaired in a timely manner and that everyone has the equipment and supplies they need. This type of dedication and efficiency makes it possible for others to do their job as well."

Bedwell told all three employees, " It is officers such as you that set the example for others to emulate and impress upon the residents of Sherwood that their police department is professional, concerned, caring, and dedicated to providing a better city in which to live and work."