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Suwanee PD honors its finest officers

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

SUWANEE -- Police Chief Mike Jones presented several awards to his officers Tuesday night in the annual ceremony recognizing the city's finest officers.

Officer Simon Byun was voted Officer of the Year by his peers. "Officer Byun is a positive individual making a difference for the residents of Suwanee and our department. He has been involved in multiple incidents where his keen observation and professionalism have resulted in arrests and prosecution of criminals." Byun joined the Suwanee Police Department in 2008.

Lt. Dan Clark received the Chief's Award for his critical role in the department's successful state re-certification. Clark is a 19-year veteran of the department. "Lieutenant Clark stepped up to the plate to meet the challenge when the certification manager position was vacated," Jones said. "He worked long hours and weekends to meet the necessary goals."

For the second consecutive year, Communications Officer Michelle Shepard was voted Civilian Employee of the Year by her peers.

Other officers received Merit Awards for exemplary service that distinguishes them in their profession Officers Joe Carter, Tina Harmon, Keith Kerr, Rob McCoy and Sgt. Robert Thompson were recognized for their efforts to save the life of a 3-month-old baby this past January. Jones remarked that the team also showed deep compassion for the family during that tragic time. Officer Elton Hassell was also recognized for his life-saving efforts last November with a 13-year-old child.

Earning awards for their key roles in the state re-certification process were Sgt. Shane Edmisten, Sgt. Brian Hickey, Deputy Chief Janet Moon and Capt. Cass Mooney. Officer Elias Casanas received the same award for his coordination of several community policing programs.

Earning the department's Top Gun Award for best marksmanship was Sgt. Shane Edmisten.

In addition to the annual awards, three officers were recognized for outstanding achievements in highway safety enforcement, a program operated in conjunction with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. Recognized for the first quarter of 2010 were Officers Michael Chavez (Impaired Driving Award), Michael Troutman (Occupant Safety Award), and Joe Carter (Speed Enforcement Award).

"If it were up to me, I'd give every one of our officers an award," said Jones of his department.

Buford Highway concept plan approved

Suwanee's Buford Highway concept plan was approved Tuesday night by a vote of 6-0 during the city council meeting. The plan was devised following the adoption of the Suwanee Downtown Master Plan last year.

Two public hearings preceded Tuesday night's action. A rendering of the Concept Plan has been on display in the lobby at City Hall for two weeks. Tuesday night was the final opportunity for residents to offer their input.

"Adoption of the plan doesn't mean that the changes will be immediate," said Josh Campbell, the city's planning director. Staff members can now seek funding sources for the changes and begin preliminary work on implementing the plan.