By Brett Milam
The city of Milford council met on Jan. 16 to honor Laurie Howland, the former mayor, and to recognize police officers.
Fred Albrecht, who was elected to council in April, took Howland’s place as the mayor. Kim Chamberland was also elected to council in the November election. Amy Brewer was also re-elected to another term.
Albrecht read the proclamation to Howland, in part stating, “Whereas for all of us who live and work in Milford, there’s a professional sense of pride and gratitude as we consider the contributions and accomplishments and dedications f Laurie Howland, who has given so much back to this city and the residents of Milford.”
Howland served the city from Jan. 10, 2010 to December 2017.
The proclamation said that Howland provided a model of “good governance.”
“Thank you … I believe in new voices and the power of new voices in the city,” Howland said. “This is a great city. To women everywhere, especially those that are willing to stand up and have a voice, because as a strong woman who has a voice and who isn’t afraid to call BS when she sees BS, I applaud all of you strong women out there.”
Milford Police Chief Jamey Mills then presided over the annual awards presentation for the department.
The first award is the Chief’s Commendation which went to Officer Mike Green.
“The Chief’s Commendation is issued for outstanding performance that demonstrate the core values of integrity, professional, cooperation and commitment,” Mills said. ”
Green has been a volunteer police officer since 2012, working one day a week.
Mills said Green was commended for his assistance in covering shifts; he was commended by a citizen for complimenting his manner in being treated; he was commended for purchasing food and hygiene for needy children; and for volunteering at the OVI checkpoint and Shop with a Hero.
This was Green’s second Chief Commendation award, Mills said.
Another volunteer, Jay Rothenbach, who is with the city’s Service Department, was given recognition as well.
Rothenbach attended every Citizen’s Police Academy class and attended every community outreach event, Mills said.
“If you haven’t been through it, I recommend doing it. You learn a lot, “Rothenbach said.
Detective Julie Liming, who was in investigations since 2015, which Mills said is often referred to as the most difficult assignment, was also recognized. Aside from being on-call all the time, there’s also the additional training required for the position.
Liming also has background in working with Child Protective Services and juveniles.
Mills said she served admirably for three years in investigations. She’s back on road patrol now.
Among the awards is also a silver bullet award, given to an officer demonstrating “exemplary problem solving” abilities, Mills said.
Officer Bob West was this year’s winner. West is the senior patrol officer in the department, with a reputation for “helping anyone in need,” Mills said.
“We’re proud to have him represent us and he is the embodiment of our core values,” he said.
West said when he first got out of the academy, Milford is where he always wanted to work.
“You’re going to be in good hands in the future; we have a lot of great officers,” West said.
The Larry J. Oaks Memorial Award, the top recognition of the night, named after Officer Oaks, who had served in law enforcement for nearly half a century.
Officer Danielle Wilson was the recipient of the award.
She’s considered a proactive officer, who educates and gives back to the community, Mills said. Wilson personally implemented the diaper, clothes and shoes drive for needy families, he added.
“In her short time with the department, she’s earned a reputation and work ethic that is second to none,” he said.
In other police news, Chief Mills requested a 2018 Tahoe replacement patrol vehicle at a cost of $37,761, according to Sandy Russell, councilmember.
That vehicle would be replacing a Tahoe purchased in 2011.
“Most agencies replace their vehicles within five or six years,” Russell said. “The new cruisers would include an in-camera watch system.”
The ordinance was passed unanimously by the council, which also included an additional $13,792 for an uplift from Camp Safety.
New body armor, at a cost of $15,947, was also approved unanimously by the board. Mills said 40 percent of that would be covered by a grant.
The armor expires after 5 years of use, Mills said.
Finally, Mills also requested monies for replacement Tasers in the amount of $9,152.
Like the body armor, Tasers expire after 5 years of use, Mills said.
According to Russell, the department wants to purchase eight Tasers.
The board also unanimously passed the ordinance for new Tasers.
Council also unanimously approved an ordinance for the purchase of $36,393 worth of salt for the winter.