DULUTH – For Duluth Police Chief Mike Ceynowa, his department’s annual commendation ceremony is a day to circle on the calendar.
“What you’re going to hear today is a small sample of the tremendous and extraordinary work that happens here every day,” Ceynowa told a packed room in the Public Safety Building on Thursday. “We have professional teachers and staff who are committed to the safety of each person, and we strive to do so with professionalism and compassion.”
The department has given dozens of awards and recommendations, recognizing leaders who go above and beyond to help life in emergency situations, undertake extensive investigations in cases of drug trafficking or murder or major projects to help implement new and improved technology.
Awards are also given out of four each year to outstanding servants, as chosen by their peers within the department.
Jim Forsyth, the officer assigned to the West Duluth community, was named officer of the year. Forsyth is part of the Get Hooked fishing program that takes kids on bridge trips, helped set up a CODE4 community battle bus and takes part in the Blue Santa shopping program during the holidays.
“Jim is one of the most well-rounded, hard-working, selfless people we’ve worked with,” Ceynowa said. “Not only is he responsible for long-term problem solving and relationship building in the downtown west side, but he also takes on many other tasks when it comes to making the city a better place for everyone. He often goes above and beyond in performing daily duties and responsibilities.”
Sergeant Keandre Ghoram was recognized as the officer of the year. A fierce former criminal investigator, Ghoram now leads a group of patrols.
“He is consistent, positive and dedicated not only to the growth of his peers, but also to our own,” said Deputy Chief Nick Lukovsky. “He is committed to having the best crisis management team around and spends a lot of his time getting his equipment and training. Keandre is on his shift and on stage.”
Taylor Stutsman was selected as researcher of the year. As a member of the Special Investigations Unit’s Lake Superior Violent Offender Task Force, he plays a central role in many high-profile cases, handles K-9 Mavericks and is federally assigned to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Taylor has a reputation for targeting offenders with high levels of violence,” said Lt. Chad Nagorski, business force commander. “In recent years, the number of overwhelming deaths in our area has become a major challenge. Taylor works hard to solve these cases, which are time-intensive and very difficult to prove. He works hard with the victims and tries to help. Each family is affected by these deaths.”
Amy Brix was named staff professional of the year. As senior technical officials have reported, she describes herself as a “natural leader” who is often called upon by others in the department to help with special projects and problem solving.
“Amy is known to be approachable, knowledgeable, reliable and a great team player,” said Maya Carroll, director of records and technology. “One of her greatest strengths lies in her calmness in an intense, high-pressure work environment, thorough and comprehensive creative work, with little to no guidance. She tailors her work to her audience and finds a perfect balance of words with other correspondents. -concise and direct, but accurate and informative.
The department also recognized several promotions in the past year. Rob Hurst, Angela Robertson, David Decker and Chad Guenther were named sergeants, while Matt McShane, Jason Tanski and Joe Miketin achieved the rank of lieutenant.
Special awards were also presented to the Duluth Police Foundation and the Irving Community Club for supporting police initiatives, and several advocates, prosecutors and other partners were recognized for life-saving work and good investigations.
Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or email@example.com.