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HPD Honors Employees of the Year

Clerk Destiny Hunt and Detective Dustin Vance were recognized as the 2023 Employees of the Year.

Several City of Hilliard Division of Police employees were recently recognized for their exceptional efforts serving the community.

Detective Dustin Vance and Support Services Clerk Destiny Hunt were named the 2023 Employees of the Year. They were nominated for recognition by their co-workers.

Vance, who joined HPD in 2012, is a member of the agency’s criminal investigation unit. In September 2023, he was among the first officers to arrive on scene in response to an unconscious infant. He assisted in life-saving attempts on the child, and then served as the dedicated lead investigator of what became a homicide case.

“Detective Vance’s compassion and empathy were visible in his actions on that day,” said Chief of Police Michael Woods. “His exemplary service that day, and over the following weeks, was above and beyond the call of duty.”

Prior to serving as an investigator, Vance has served as a patrol officer, traffic safety officer, special investigator, Honor Guard member, and CRASE instructor. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and completed a combat tour in Iraq.

Clerk Hunt, who has served with HPD since 2021 as a member of the Support Services Unit, was named Civilian Employee of the Year.

“Hunt is committed to doing her job well and always willing to jump in and help others,” a nominator stated. “She has a positive, can-do attitude and is one of the hardest working individuals.”

Additionally, Life-Saving Awards were presented to Officers Johnathon Hitchings and Ian King for their efforts applying a tourniquet to an injured man, to Officers Michael Sherrill and Jeb Pencil for their response involving a person experiencing a mental health crisis, and to Officer Josh Barnett for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a student choking at school.

Detective Tom Morris was presented with a Commendation Award for his work investigating a sexual assault involving a minor that resulted in identifying additional suspects and several indictments.

A Commendation Award was also presented to Officer Hitchings for his outstanding response to a domestic violence call that led to a kidnapping charge. Officers Matt Braden, A.J. Murry, Charles Lupi, and Matt Hayes received Achievement Citations for their responses to the same incident.

Training Coordinator Greg Bernard received the Chief’s Award for his work overseeing the division’s training program and guiding recruits in the training academy.

Achievement Awards were presented to staff for various incidents, including a traffic stop that led to the discovery of evidence used to solve a homicide case, a business robbery, apprehending a suspect with an extensive criminal history who attempted to flee, seizing substantial amounts of deadly drugs, responding to mental health crises to ensure safe outcomes, and investigating threats at a local high school.

Those recognized were: Officer Luke White, Officer Steven Persinger, Officer Marqel Watkins, Officer Hitchings, Officer Chris Crabtree, Officer Adam Showalter, Officer Murry, Officer Sam DiSaia, Officer Dustin Gigandet, Detective Brandon Long, Detective Kristen Winter, Detective Kyle Bright, Detective Vance, (Ret.) Detective Mike Metz, Sgt. Justin Cramer, Sgt. Marcus Blevins, Officer Jeff Long, Officer Tony Agosta, Officer Joshua Valentine, Detective Josh Howard, Detective Randall Pugh, Officer Hunter Schweickart, Officer Greg Toczek, Officer Rich Russell, Officer Ryan Turner, Sgt. Suzy Muraco, Sgt. Jared Zellers, Sgt. Austin Vogelsang. Sgt. Josh Cohill, Officer Sean Gill, Officer Jessica Roubic, Officer Dustin Kaiser, Officer Danielle Epperhart, Officer Anthony Irby, Officer Quinn Izar.

Chief of Police Michael Woods and Training Coordinator Greg Barnard, who received the Chief’s Award.

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