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Springfield police officers recognized for bravery, excellence

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Springfield police officers were recognized Tuesday for their efforts at keeping the peace in the capital city in 2009.

The awards and honorees include:

  • Officer Scott Ligon, Porter Williams Award for distinguished acts of bravery or heroism. Ligon found an injured woman inside a motel room, as well as a man holding a knife and covered in the woman’s blood. Ligon ordered the man to surrender, but he refused. After a struggle, Ligon was able to subdue the man.
  • Officer Timothy Zajicek, Silver Suarez Award for distinguished police work by a uniformed officer. Zajicek arrested an armed robbery suspect from near St. Louis as the man was driving north on Interstate 55. The man was a suspect in several armed robberies in the St. Louis area, and the vehicle he was in was stolen.
  • Detectives Ryan Sims, Brian Johnston and Michael Flynn, William Herndon Award for distinguished acts of police work by plainclothes officers. The three tracked down a man responsible for multiple break-ins and sexual assaults during the summer. He now is in prison.
  • Detective April Smiddy, Abraham Lincoln Award, which honors an officer who does something to improve the quality of life in the community. Smiddy worked with a state legislator to strengthen laws protecting child domestic abuse victims. As a result, new legislation set stronger penalties for people who harm, disable or disfigure children under 13 or those with severe mental impairments.
  • Springfield Police Department honor guard, Chief’s Unit Citation for representing the department and responding to requests to be at funerals and other events. Honor guard members are Lt. Kenny Winslow, Sgt. Charles Kean, Detective Mike Fannin and officers Chris Vollmer, Gerry Castles, Mark Johnson, Mike Vogel, Don Bivens, Matt Doss and Chance Warnisher.

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