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Police chief honors state trooper, 3 officers and a volunteer
Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson honored a diverse collection of individuals during the Federal Way City Council's July 16 meeting.
A Washington State Patrol trooper, three longtime FWPD officers, and a longtime volunteer all received praise from Wilson.
The first honoree was Trooper John Pierce.
"Our officers have the privilege of working with the State Patrol and Trooper Pierce on an ongoing basis," Wilson said. "And we often work together on serious and significant calls. Earlier this year, there was a call of a man on 320th over I-5, who was contemplating suicide. This was a very tricky call."
Wilson said the distraught man actually had one leg over the rail and was set to jump from the 320th overpass onto I-5 below — until Pierce's quick actions.
"Trooper John Pierce was with our people, but he put himself at risk and grabbed this guy from going over," Wilson said. "He saved this guy's life, and others."
Pierce was honored with the FWPD Lifesaving Award for his actions on the 320th overpass.
Longtime officer Lt. Tracy Grossnickle was given a police chief's commendation for his work on the PATROL Auto Theft Task Force.
Five years ago, Grossnickle was selected as the first supervisor for the PATROL Auto Theft Task Force. This was a new task force for the South King and North Pierce county region, a state funded task force to address the prolific problem of auto theft, Wilson said.
"He started this new task force from the ground up. He has been recognized by the Washington Auto Theft Prevention Authority for outstanding achievement and coordination," Wilson said.
According to Wilson, Grossnickle's leadership has led to 221 arrests on 651 charges, and 355 recovered vehicles valued at approximately $2.5 million. Grossnickle has had six federal cases so far in the task force's history, only one of which went to trial.
"(Most) of these cases resulted in guilty pleas. They are just rock solid cases that this task force generated under Tracy's leadership," Wilson noted.
Lt. Brett Hatfield and Cmdr. Chris Norman were also honored with the police chief's commendation. Hatfield's work with a special operations unit in the city's downtown core has led to a reduction of crime of nearly 50 percent, Wilson said, and that reduction has stayed stable since the unit's inception.
"From Memorial Day to Labor Day during the last three years, we have not had one serious assault in the downtown area. I firmly believe that's attributable to this unit," Wilson said.
Norman was honored for his work with the Valley Civil Disturbance unit, a multi-agency unit aimed at combatting any serious disturbances in the region. Norman led the unit for the past six years, Wilson said, making him the longest tenured leader of that unit. Along with this, Wilson said Norman's presence on FWPD is invaluable.
"If there's anything innovative or creative going on, he's got his fingerprints on it in some form or another," Wilson said.
Finally, Wilson honored longtime volunteer Dave Peterson with the Police Chief's Citizen Commendation. Peterson, who's been a FWPD volunteer since 1997, has worked with the property/evidence department and the vehicle maintenance department, according to Wilson.
"He has safeguarded and transported 10,000 pieces of evidence to and from the Washington State Crime Lab or the King County Sheriff's AFIS Lab. 10,000 pieces of evidence," Wilson said. "I can't say enough about him and what he means to us, to my staff, to our city. He is just a pleasure to be around and he contributes in so many ways."