Melbourne Police Department Honors Officers and Employees for Outstanding Service Through Annual Awards Ceremony

By  //  April 1, 2022

Melbourne Police detective johnny bynum named officer of the year

LEFT TO RIGHT: Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie, Detective Johnny Bynum, Administrative Assistant II Brandy Orr and Communications Officer III Ashleigh Mulla. (MPD image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Melbourne Police Department held its annual awards ceremony to recognize and celebrate police officers, communications officers, and civilian employees for their outstanding performance, dedication, courage, and professionalism on March 30.

Within these groups, the department also distinguished officers and employees who stood out among even these exceptional honorees. The 2021 winners of these prestigious awards are as follows:

Officer of the Year: Detective Johnny Bynum

Detective Bynum has served the Melbourne Police Department for more than 26 years, 16 of which have been in the Criminal Investigations Division where he has investigated nearly 2,000 cases.

Over the years he has built an impeccable reputation throughout the Brevard County law enforcement community and is known for his tenacious work ethic and commitment to the citizens of Melbourne.

The following are highlights from his exemplary work in 2021:

He served as the division’s domestic violence investigator, screening all domestic violence complaints that come into the agency (averaging 225 per month) and triaging them for appropriate follow-up.

He worked with the State Attorney’s Office to recommend filing and sentencing enhancements of certain cases. In 2021, he formally adopted 50 of these cases and cleared half of them with arrests. He was also able to clear an additional 22 of those cases for a closure rate of 94%.

He uncovered the true identity of a domestic violence suspect who had been living under an assumed identity for months and had used multiple aliases over the past 10 years. He found that the subject was an absconded parolee from New York with active felony warrants for armed robbery and was also suspected in the murder of his girlfriend in New York City in 2020. Det. Bynum coordinated with NYPD, NY Department of Corrections, and the U.S. Marshals Service to locate the suspect who has been wanted by the NYPD for 10 years.

He helped resolve two cold cases — one from 2015 that required him to travel to multiple locations throughout the state to interview incarcerated witnesses and one from 1980 that brought closure to a family of a woman who had disappeared 42 years ago.

Communications Officer of the Year: Ashleigh Mulla

Ashleigh Mulla was recognized for her positive attitude, professional demeanor and excellent work ethic. In 2021, she did an excellent job working the radio while having three back-to-back high priority calls while she was training. She also went above and beyond her duties to locate the owner of a found dog. She produces a monthly newsletter for Communications Center employees and has recently become a Communication Training Officer, training new hires in all phases of training.

Employee of the Year: Brandy Orr

Brandy Orr recently joined the department and learned her new position with minimal assistance. In 2021, she served as the department’s sole payroll clerk and took advanced training in FMLA and HR legal issues — all while maintaining a workload designed for two professionals. She later onboarded a new payroll administrative assistant while maintaining a steady work pace and attention to detail.

Detective Award of Excellence: Eric Gould

In 2021, Detective Eric Gould investigated numerous high-profile cases that led to the arrest of several dangerous criminals. These included an undercover operation that ensnared a man and woman who had lured an elderly victim into a violent home invasion using an internet website known for prostitution activity.

His work in 2021 led to the arrest of a subject who was found in possession of a short-barreled shotgun and 4,400 rounds of ammunition in direct violation of a Risk Protection Order. He also located and worked with the Brevard County Sherriff’s Office to apprehend a man who was suspected of committing a vicious aggravated battery on a Melbourne Police officer that resulted in serious injury.

Field Training Officer Award of Excellence: Joseph Kravtzoff

Detective Joseph Kravtzoff is known for his dedication to the Training Unit, his exceptional knowledge and skills, and for consistently exhibiting highest level of professionalism. In 2021, he trained five officers for a total of six months.

He was relied on to train officers at a first phase level on two occasions. This is typically a more difficult phase of training and is dedicated to training inexperienced police officers. Detective Kravtzoff has been commended for always putting the trainees’ needs first and for looking for opportunities to improve their skillset.

Supervisor Award of Excellence: Daniel Desormier

Sgt. Daniel Desormier supervises the Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU). The TEU is authorized to have eight positions; however, during most of 2021 it was only staffed with four. Despite this shortage, Sgt. Desormier maintained a positive, can-do attitude, kept up with the demands of the position, and did a great job of keeping the team motivated and productive.

Under his leadership in 2021, the TEU responded to 935 traffic crashes, issued 2,841 traffic citations and 865 written warnings, and investigated 12 traffic homicides. He also developed 27 incident action plans for City and third-party events and managed the Crossing Guard program.

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