Melbourne Police Officers, Communications Officers and Employees Awarded for Outstanding Service
On March 8, 2019 the Melbourne Police Department held its 11th annual awards ceremony to recognize the police officers, the communications officers and the civilian employees for their outstanding performance, dedication, courage and professionalism during 2018.
Within these groups, the Melbourne Police Department also distinguishes one police officer, one communications officer and one employee who stand out among even these exceptional honorees. The winners of these prestigious awards are as follows:
Officer of the Year: Timothy Clifford
Officer Clifford’s determination, courage and exceptional skills have helped solve crimes and protect the community from violent criminals. The notable accomplishments for 2018 included:
- The arrest of a man wanted for stealing an ATM machine from a business.
- Apprehension of a violent criminal who confessed to breaking into a vehicle. The related follow-up investigation solved numerous other vehicle burglaries.
- Arrest of a subject who had been repeatedly sought for aggravated stalking charges,
- Arrest of a violent criminal who had an active murder warrant in the state of Georgia.
- Information that he developed from attempted traffic stop of a motorcyclist which helped the Special Investigations Unit locate and arrest a subject wanted for armed robberies in Melbourne and Palm Bay.
- The apprehension of four wanted subjects following a foot pursuit. One of the suspects was found to be in criminal possession of drugs.
Employee of the Year: Crystal Wical
Crime Scene Investigator Crystal Wical was recognized for exemplary efforts during a homicide investigation involving a tremendously complex crime scene and for exceptional teamwork that led to the identification and apprehension of four felons in an organized theft ring.
Communications Officer of the Year: Wendy Luszczewski
Wendy was recognized for consistent outstanding performance as a communications officer in 2018. The notable accomplishments for 2018 included:
- Her efforts and skills in helping officers respond to and assist a distraught, suicidal subject.
- Playing a key role during a dangerous fire in a heavily wooded area while at the same time assisting in a multi-jurisdiction vehicle pursuit. Both events requiring accurate relay of information to the responding officers for two successful conclusions.
- She also aided in the coordination of a pursuit involving an armed carjacking suspects resulting in their apprehension.
- Her self-initiative in contacting local business providing the description of an escaped prisoner which played a key role in the prisoner’s capture.
Officer of the Year Timothy Clifford (center) with Chief David Gillespie (left) and Deputy Chief David Waltemeyer.
Employee of the Year Crystal Wical (center) with Chief David Gillespie (left) and Deputy Chief David Waltemeyer.