Many men and women of the Great Falls Police Department were honored at a luncheon Friday afternoon for their commitment to the community.
Several acts of bravery and service were recognized.
Great Falls Police Chief David Bowen said this type of event is important to remind the community that officers are there to help.
“I think it sends a message to the community that we’re part of the community. We’re out amongst you and we’re doing some great things,” said Bowen. “Nationally, the police have taken a little bit of a hit and I’d like to say that it’s not all bad, we do great things. This is kind of one of those ways to recognized our people and let the community know that we’re doing great work.”
Master Police Officer Clint Houston was awarded the 2017 Officer of the Year.
Master Police Officer Thad Kimmet received the Distinguished Service Award and the Lifesaving Award for his bravery and the skill he used to discharge his firearm at a man who was holding a woman hostage with a knife at her throat. The man has since been convicted of kidnapping and assault and the woman credits MPO Kimmet with saving her life.
Senior Police Officer Scott Fisher was recognized for his selfless act of purchasing clothing for a woman’s children after the woman was caught shoplifting.
Ted Barnes was awarded the Honorable Service award for serving three terms as a Police Commissioner and helping the department hire more than fifty officers.
Senior Police Officer James Meek was given the Lifesaving Award for administering CPR.
Master Police Officers Noah Scott and Adam Price, and Senior Police Officers Kevin Supalla and Kaleb Larson received recognition from the team at Victim Witness Services for referring more than fifty victims each over the course of 2017.
Twelve GFPD volunteers were recognized with the Presidential Volunteer Award; each receive a certificate signed by President Trump.
The Great Falls Exchange Club received the Citizen Honorable Service Award for their contribution to the department’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care Program with a donation of nearly $4,000 to purchase Quick Clot for each officer to carry.
James Bailey was awarded the Citizen Honorable Service Award for assisting Senior Police Officer James Meek during a struggle with a non-compliant suspect.
Identical twin nurses Amber and Megan Cordeiro were recognized with the Citizen Lifesaving Award for providing critical wound care (while off duty) when they found their neighbor had been stabbed during a burglary in progress.
Thomas Mattson was awarded the Citizen Honorable Service Award for his bravery to jump in the middle of a fight two officers were having with a suspect who was high on methamphetamine.
Senior Police Officers Kevin Supalla and Robert Larson were the recipients of the Lifesaving Award for their very quick response to a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the thigh. The officers used their own police-issued tourniquet and Quick Clot to come to the man’s aid. Benefis Emergency Department staff said the man likely would not have lived were it not for the officers’ quick and professional care.
Probation Officer Mike Stimac received the Chief’s Award of Excellence for his diligence tracking down an absconder. Once he found the absconder it was discovered the man was concealing the body of a deceased woman inside his hotel room. The absconder told Stimac that, had he not been caught, he planned to kill more people, including any officers responding.