ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany City Commission honored the work done by both its uniformed personnel and its civilians Tuesday as the officers, civilian and citizen of the year were announced by the Albany Police Department.
Patrolmen McKinley Windom and Christopher Hutcherson, along with civilian System Administrator Dennis Tomlinson and citizen Daffamie Johnson, were each recognized by the commission and APD Chief John Proctor for their service to the department and community.
Windom and Hutcherson were honored for their response to the July 12, 2010 robbery of the Family Dollar store on West Gordon Avenue.
According to Proctor, when Windom and Hutcherson -- who was still in the training phase of the job -- arrived on the scene, they were greeted by the suspect, who had taken a hostage.
"Both officers maintained their cover until the suspects exited the store. Officer Windom made several attempts to convince the suspect to release the hostage while Hutcherson was keeping a very close eye on the second suspect. When the second suspect turned and pointed his weapon toward his training officer, Officer Hutcherson alerted Officer Windom and then fired his service weapon, striking the suspect," Proctor said.
"The heroic acts of Windom and Hutcherson resulted in the arrest of the suspects, the recovery of their weapons and the money taken from the Family Dollar. Their bravery during that extremely dangerous situation has earned them the recognition as the Albany Police Department's Officers of the Year," he finished.
Tomlinson, the department's Civilian of the Year, has been with the APD for 10 years and works in the department's Support Services Bureau.
The APD's system administrator, Tomlinson oversees operations of 150 computers and 60 mobile data terminals, Proctor said.
"Dennis knows the needs of the department and displays a 'can-do' attitude daily. You can ask him a question and he does his best to provide a solution," Proctor said. "Co-workers say Dennis has a real team player's spirit. They also say they enjoy his sharp but kind sense of humor. Most importantly, Dennis is a hard worker and will work as long as it takes to complete a task."
Johnson was recognized as much for her work away from the department as with it.
A graduate of the 20th session of the Citizens Police Academy -- a 12-week program that allows citizens to get a real-world perspective on police work from investigations to forensics to traffic -- Johnson has taken it upon herself to create the first ever Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Proctor said.
Along with board members, Johnson was able to get the organization incorporated last year and is working to finalize the group as a nonprofit association.
Proctor said that there are currently 15 members who meet monthly at the Law Enforcement Center.
"Mrs. Johnson strives for excellence and accepts nothing less. And this evening, we acknowledge her hard work and dedication by presenting the 2010 Citizen of the Year Award," Proctor said.
The awards were greeted with a standing ovation from the commission and audience members.