RPD honors chaplain, officers at annual awards ceremony

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For his decades of service both to the City of Rome and as chaplain to the Rome Police Department, Rev. Philip A. Hearn was awarded the department’s first ever Humanitarian Award at their annual award’s ceremony on Sunday.

“His tireless efforts have made a world of difference in the lives of everyone he has touched,” said Deputy Police Chief Kevin M. Simmons at the ceremony.

Hearn was named pastor at St. Peter’s Church on North James Street in 1990, and remained pastor when it combined with St. Mary’s in 2002. Hearn will retire on July 1. Hearn was also responsible for reviving the police department’s awards ceremony in 2014, and offering the church for the service. The sixth annual ceremony was held on Sunday to cap off National Police Week. “We hear so little about the good things that the men and women of the Rome Police Department do every day,” said Deputy Chief Simmons. “Our officers understand that they are the community’s police department.”

Dozens of officers were honored for their service over the past year. They were honored for educational achievements, community service and more.

Patrolmen Ryan P. Crever and Matthew A. Hall received the Exceptional Service Medal and Life Saving Award for their efforts in rescuing the upstairs tenant when Peterson’s Exotic Pets caught on fire in the early morning hours of Feb. 28. The resident was in a wheelchair, and authorities said Crever and Hall rushed upstairs alongside a firefighter to help get both the resident and his pet dog out of the burning apartment.

Patrolman Alexzandra S. Carletta and her K-9 partner Arko received a Chief’s Letter of Commendation, a Police Achievement Award and a Community Service Award for multiple incidents. Authorities said Arko and Carletta caught a burglar hiding in a bedroom closet on East Bloomfield Street in early January. The pair caught a wanted man hiding in the deep brush off Woodland Avenue in October. And Carletta assisted with a Christmas gift delivery in December.

“This job can be daunting a lot of times,” said Public Safety Commissioner Frank Retrosi. “I thank and applaud all of you for choosing law enforcement as your profession.”

The Officer of the Year Award was given to Thomas R. Medlin III for his numerous community service efforts. Authorities said Medlin often serves as officer-in-charge of the morning shift, and is part of the Community Impact Unit. Medlin is credited with 136 arrests and for issuing 397 traffic tickets over the past year.

Medlin also works on the department’s Law Enforcement Day, the Shop with a Cop charity, volunteers for the Rome Rescue Mission, the Breakfast with Santa, and organizes Kops for Kids barbecues. Medlin was responsible for last month’s Autism Awareness campaign, which raised more than $2,000 for the Kelberman Center, which provides programs, services and evaluations for individuals with autism and their families.

Medlin also received a Community Service Award this year.

“I think we have the best city in the country and that’s because we have a low crime rate, and that’s because of officers like you,” said Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo at the ceremony.

“Law enforcement is a noble profession.”

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