Civitan, APD honor officers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2003

The Andalusia Police Department, along with the Andalusia Civitan Club, recently had the opportunity to recognize the efforts of four APD officers during the past year.

The Civitan Club sponsored a luncheon to honor officers Sergeant David Connor, Sergeant Matt Mancil, Officer Mike Finley and Officer Mike Hayden.

This is the second year the Civitan Club has sponsored such a luncheon, and Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams said he is very proud of all the officers honored, noting they were honored for their "achievements in the educational and technical areas of expertise rather than the usual area of day to day police work."

Williams further added that the awards represent the direction that law enforcement overall is heading in, due to technological breakthroughs which have been made in the efforts to fight crime over the past decade or so.

Connor was recognized for being the first APD officer to complete the requirements for earning a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice.

In addition to his educational achievements, Connor was recognized for his efforts in becoming one of the first Certified Forensic Mapping Specialists in the state.

"(Connor's) efforts represent outstanding work and dedication by him, and that is efforts to bring the latest technology available to the citizens of Andalusia," said Williams.

Mancil was recognized as being the second APD officer to complete the requirements for earning a 4-year college degree.

He will complete those requirements later this summer and will earn a degree in Business Administration. Mancil was also recognized for his work in grant applications for the department.

Williams noted that most of the grants received by the department over the past several years are the result of the efforts by Mancil and represent thousands of dollars of assistance for the department.

Finley was recognized for having completed an intensive course of study in Accident Investigation and Reconstruc-tion.

Finley is certified as a Traffic Homicide Investigator and Reconstructionist and also is a Certified Forensic Mapping Specialist in the area of traffic accident investigation.

Williams said Finley's level of expertise ensures that the APD is capable of providing high quality professional investigations of all traffic accidents regardless of the severity of those accidents.

Hayden was recognized for his efforts and accomplishments in the field of Computer Forensics.

"(That particular field)

is a relatively new aspect in law enforcement and as a result of (Hayden's) efforts, the Andalusia Police Department is on the cutting edge of technology as it relates to the investigation of cyber-crimes, child pornography and other Internet offenses," said Williams.

The chief added that while he is extremely proud of all his officers, he gave added credit to Connor and Mancil for their educational milestones.

"I have a tremendous amount of pride and respect for Sgt. Connor and Sgt. Mancil because of what they have been through to reach such a milestone as receiving their college degrees," said Williams. "When I first came here, I issued my officers a challenge and these two guys have stepped forward and accepted that challenge. It hasn't been easy but now they have something that no one can take from them and I am expecting great things from them. The Bible tells us, 'To you much has been given, and from you much is expected.'"