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Police department bestows annual awards for service
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Turlock Police Cpl. Steve Crawford, pictured here with his son, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal Thursday during the Turlock Police Department’s annual awards ceremony. Crawford was bestowed with the prestigious medal for talking a suicidal man off of a freeway overpass. - photo by SABRA STAFFORD / The Journal

The Turlock Police Department honored their own Thursday morning by paying tribute to those that have gone beyond the norm in their public service duties.

The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Toni Allison, who regularly puts in more than 20 hours a week at the department and helped get a similar program at City Hall established. In presenting the award, Police Chief Gary Hampton said Allison has “clearly given back to this community and has set the standard for volunteers.”

The Animal Services division, which Hampton called the “most effective operation in the Valley,” was honored with the Excellence Award.

Executive secretary to the chief Mary Sousa was selected by her peers as the Employee of the Year. In presenting the award, Hampton praised Sousa for her high work ethic and her tireless energy level.

“Mary can always be counted on to go the extra mile,” Hampton said.

The Officer of the Year award was presented to Detective Lee Medlin, who was recognized for dedication to public service and the department.

“Lee is a machine and his work ethic is above reproach,” Hampton said. “He goes out of his way to serve as a voice for victims and has set the benchmark for younger officers.”

The Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional performance on the job and has gone above and beyond the call of duty. This year the prestigious honor was bestowed upon Cpl. Steve Crawford, who in October 2010 talked a suicidal man off a freeway overpass.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.