On May 17, the Highland Moose, Rotary and Optimist clubs held their annual Respect for Law Banquet, where special members of local law enforcement are honored for their service to the community.
This year, three outstanding law professionals received awards from three categories, the David McCain Memorial Officer of the Year award, the Optimist Officer of the Year and the Moose Lodge Telecommunicator of the Year.
The evening included a short awards ceremony and steak fry.
Highland Police Department Chief Terry Bell, Highland Optimist president David Callahan and Moose Lodge member Dave Wirz presented the awards.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
David McCain Memorial Officer of the Year
Highland Police Department Detective Chris Flake was given the David McCain Memorial Officer of the Year award for the second time.
Flake has been with the police department for eight years. In April of 2014, Flake became an investigator and has been assigned to be the lead detective in countless felony cases.
Flake plays a large part in all major cases and can always be counted on to complete his task with professionalism and dedication, said Chief Bell.
Last August, Flake was assigned to a case that involved child pornography. Flake had to scour the web, looking for online interactions with a predator, which Bell said made his job extremely difficult. When all was said and done, Flake had found many facts regarding the online predator through phone and computer downloads. Flake then submitted a 144-page report with 18 supplemental reports to the Department of Homeland Security, which then pursued federal charges.
“His tenacity to ensure that criminals are not allowed to further victimize good people is an example for every officer to follow,” Bell said.
According to Bell, Flake has also helped the police department build positive relationships within the Highland community, between others police departments, and with the Madison County State Attorney’s office.
“He accepts all tasks with a positive attitude and is able to juggle the many duties of an investigator without losing focus,” Bell said. “Chris is truly a dedicated family man, skilled investigator and a great role model.”
Optimist Officer of the Year
Callahan presented patrolman David Brines with the Optimist Officer of the Year award.
Brines has been with the police department since March 2008. Callahan said that while Brines is known throughout Highland as a knowledgeable senior officer, who helps guide unsure officers through incidents.
Brines handled 945 incidents in 2016 and was one of the leading officers in arrests and citations.
“He has consistently been one of the top performers among all of the officers,” Callahan said. “He is a dependable, consistent patrolmen, who requires very little instruction and assistance in preforming his duties.”
Brines is part of the Region 8 Mobile Field Force, which helps with crowd control, riots, searches and rescues and other instances where man power is needed. Brines is also a field trained officer with the HPD.
“As a seasoned patrolman he is able to use his discretion to best serve our community,” Callahan said. “His hard work is greatly appreciated.”
Moose Telecommunicator of the Year
Greg Stoff was presented with the Moose Telecommunicator of the Year Award.
Stoff has been working for the HPD for a little over 15 years.
“Greg’s dedication to the Highland Police Department makes him worthy of the Moose Telecommunicator of the Year award,” Highland Moose Lodge member Dave Wirz, who presented the award.
Stoff can always be counted on and is always available whenever he is needed, Wirz said, noting that Stoff’s knowledge and connections with the community are always beneficial when helping officers on the street. Wirz said that Stoff has a willingness to help out other coworkers and his ability to go above and beyond helping officers to gather information.
“The Highland Police Department can always rely on Greg if something needs to be done,” Wirz said.
Stoff is also an active member of the Marine Corps League and continuously volunteers his time to support fundraising events.
Stoff was also the telecommunicator to receive the call on the morning of March 16, when Cristy Campbell drove herself and her infant son into Silver Lake. Stoff was also honored for his work on that day during a special award ceremony at city hall during a Highland City Council meeting.