Melbourne Police Officers and Employees Honored for Exceptional Service
On March 9, the Melbourne Police Department held its annual awards ceremony to recognize 180 police officers, communications officers and civilian employees for outstanding performance, dedication, courage and professionalism. Each year the Melbourne Police Department also recognizes one police officer, communications officer and employee who stand out among even these exceptional honorees.
The 2017 Melbourne Police Department award recipients are:
Police Officer of the Year: David Helms
Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie (left) and Officer David Helms
Officer David Helms’s keen skills and dedication to duty protected the community from violent and dangerous criminals in 2017:
- In March, Officer Helms and K-9 Scout located and took into custody a robbery suspect who was armed with a knife and had committed battery 45 minutes before they arrived.
- After an active shooter fired into a crowd of more than 1,000 people in a local park in April, Officer Helms helped search for victims, locate witnesses and preserve the crime scene during an extremely dangerous situation.
- In September, he tracked and located a suspect who had fired multiple gunshots into an occupied residence during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Later that month, he was the first officer to arrive at a residence where a victim of a home break in was being chased outside by a violent suspect. Officer Helms was able to singlehandedly disarm and place the suspect into custody.
Officer Helms was also recognized for his work during President Trump’s visit in February and Hurricane Irma in September.
Employee of the Year: Melinda Bishop
Melinda Bishop and Chief Gillespie
Criminal Investigation Division Administrative Assistant Melinda Bishop was recognized for unwavering service and exceptional performance in receiving and filtering hundreds of tips and inquiries from Crimeline. Her outstanding work has helped detectives resolve countless investigations. She was recognized by Central Florida Crimeline for her dedication to the program in October 2017.
Communications Officer of the Year: Ray Desmarais
Communication officers are the single link of our police officers, monitoring activities by radio and providing vital information to help them stop and solve crimes in progress. In January, Communications Center Manager Ray Desmarais relayed critical information that helped detectives identify and arrest a robbery suspect who was a violent offender and career criminal. Ray also provided exceptional service during Hurricane Irma and its aftermath and received a Certificate of Commendation for his work during President Trump's visit in February 2017.