The Columbia Police Department honored several outstanding employees during the 9th Annual Employee Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday, May 16, in the City Council Chambers. The ceremony was followed by a celebration with cake and punch for the nominees, winners, and attendees. The awards were presented in the following categories: Civilian of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, and Molly Suzanne Thomas Bowden Officer of the Year. Each award is presented to those who have demonstrated exemplary conduct and excellence in performance of duties.
2017 Civilian of the Year: Lydia Green
Ms. Green began as a part-time employee with the department in July 2007. She was promoted to a full-time position in the Records Unit in September 2008. By August 2011, Ms. Green became the Records Unit Supervisor overseeing all records requests and managing a team that included records support and typists. Ms. Green and her unit averaged receipt of over 60% of all records requests for the City of Columbia each year. By 2017 it was determined Ms. Green was tasked with so much work, her position ultimately had to be split into two full-time positions. In November 2017, she was promoted again to the Records Custodian for CPD; this marked the first time in CPD's history to have a civilian filling the position. Ms. Green spends countless hours filling records requests and consistently goes above and beyond for staff and citizens alike.
2017 Rookie of the Year: Officer Adam O'Dell
Officer O'Dell began with the department in December 2016. He is a promising officer who oftentimes goes the extra mile to solve cases himself that would otherwise be referred to detectives. Officer O'Dell makes it a point to establish positive relationships with the people he meets on every call he handles and demonstrates a level of maturity far beyond his years. He was described by a Training Officer as "hands down one of the best." Officer O'Dell has been a wonderful addition to this department and we look forward to working with him for many more years to come!
2017 Supervisor of the Year: Sergeant James Meyer
Sgt. Meyer began his career with the department in September 2008. He was promoted to Sergeant over the Patrol Division in July 2015. Sgt. Meyer leads by example; he never asks his officers to do something he would not do himself. He makes it a point to recognize his team's achievements and provides constructive critique when necessary. Officers are quick to follow Sgt. Meyer's lead based off his attitude towards police work and the compassion he regularly displays. He takes genuine interest in his officers and meets with them to help them meet personal and career goals within the department. Overall, Sgt. Meyer displays the qualities of character, professionalism, and dedication every shift as a supervisor.
2017 Molly Suzanne Thomas Bowden Officer of the Year: Officer Christopher Papineau
Officer Papineau began his career with the department in June 2006. Since then, he has served in the Patrol Division, as a Field Training Officer, on the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, and as a detective in the Street Crimes Unit. Officer Papineau is often looked to by fellow officers for his expertise in many law enforcement disciplines. He is always quick to assist other officers and lend advice from his own experiences. He finds value in working with new officers and shaping their success for a long career within the department. Officer Papineau is recognized for his proactive policing efforts and dedication to reducing violent crimes in the City of Columbia. He is a true asset to the Patrol Division and this department overall.
Additional recognitions included 2017 promotions, retirements, and commendations, among which comprised: Meritorious Service Ribbon, Life-Saving Ribbon, Distinguished Service Ribbon, and Commendable Performance Ribbon.
All employees of the year received a commemorative watch and plaque purchased by the Columbia Police Foundation from Gary B. Robinson and D-Sport, respectively. Additionally, each nominee received a gift card from the City of Columbia as part of the Employee Incentive Reward Program.
History of the Molly Suzanne Thomas Bowden Officer of the Year
The award is in memory of Officer Molly Bowden who was shot while conducting a traffic stop on January 10, 2005. Officer Bowden succumbed to her wounds and died on February 10, 2005; she served honorably with the department for 3.5 years and was the first and only officer at our department to be killed in the line of duty.
We are very proud of all the nominees and winners of these awards. A very special thank you to our sponsors of the event: Columbia Police Foundation, Central Bank of Boone County, and Columbia Police Foundation Board Member Gary Tatlow.