Melbourne Police Officer, Employees Honored For Exceptional Service
By Space Coast Daily // March 18, 2016
Tim Sonnenberg HONORED AS Officer of the Year
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Melbourne Police Department held its annual awards ceremony on March 15 to celebrate accomplishments and acts of heroism that saved lives, protected property and kept violent criminals off our streets in 2015.
More than 150 police officers, communications officers and employees were recognized for their bravery, commendable service and overall excellence in the performance of their duties.
Each year the Melbourne Police Department also recognizes one police officer, communications officer and employee who stand out among even these exceptional honorees.
The 2015 Melbourne Police Department award recipients are:
Police Officer of the Year: Timothy Sonnenberg
Officer Tim Sonnenberg was singled out among his outstanding fellow police officers for demonstrating exceptional valor and teamwork that led to the arrest of several violent criminals last year:
• He safely disabled a vehicle that was being driven toward him, and he and a fellow officer took the passengers into custody without further incident.
• He played a key role on the team of officers, detectives and police department employees who brought a string of armed robberies to an end.
• When an armed man threatened a homeowner and his neighbors, Officer Sonnenberg worked with other officers to safely resolve the dangerous situation.
• During a foot pursuit, he found and apprehended one of four armed robbery suspects and a loaded pistol that was connected with the crimes.
Communications Officer of the Year: Jacine Smallwood
The Melbourne Communications Center handles hundreds of calls each day and is the first point of contact for a person in crisis.
On top of this service to citizens, communications officers work behind the scenes to assist police officers on the ground. Jacine Smallwood was recognized for going above and beyond these regular duties in order to help resolve several emergency situations:
• She combed through databases to identify a truck that had struck a police officer’s patrol car, which led to the arrest of the driver.
• She provided critical assistance during an officer-involved shooting event by relaying all necessary information to the officers involved in a calm, professional manner in the midst of an exceptionally stressful situation.
• She enabled the Melbourne Communications Center to take calls for the Palm Bay Communications Center when that center was temporarily off-line.
Employee of the Year: Community Service Officer Chris Webre
In June, the Melbourne Police Department brought to an end a string of five armed robberies at convenience stores, pharmacies and fast-food restaurants in Melbourne and Palm Bay.
Community Service Officer Chris Webre helped connect the dots that led to the identification and arrest of the robbery suspect.
While reviewing surveillance videos of the crime scenes, he recalled a prior theft case whose suspect matched the same description. He pulled the photos from that case, which showed a match and confirmed the suspect’s identity.
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