A man with almost a decade on the force is this year's Officer of the Year for the Grove Police Department.

The award, given to Danny Amendolara, is just one of the honors presented to officers and volunteers within the department, during the 2019 banquet.

At the start of the banquet, Grove Police Chief Mark Morris said his team took more than 22,000 calls for service in 2018. He commended his officers for their work.

"We are not perfect, but I promise you, the stories I hear coming out of other communities - we are on top," Morris said. 

Several officers were honored for their longevity to service within the department, including Morris for 33 years, Mark Sheridan for 33 years, Jerry Bohannan for 33 years, David McCracken for 27 years, Tracy Bloss for 24 years, Dan Hinman for 22 years, Ron Crawford for 19 years, Jamie Highley for 19 years, Nicky Bassett for 17 years, John Morrow for 17 years, Ray Harvey for 12 years, Amendolara for 10 years, John Glenn for 11 years and Ryan Reiman for 12 years.

Officer of the Year

Amendolara, a 2000 Grove graduate, joined the department in 2008. In June he will celebrate his 11th anniversary.

He became interested in a law enforcement career after going on a few ride-alongs with Morrow. 

He's worked nights and evening shift throughout his career, because it allowed him to be at home with family when needed. 

"It has the highest call volume for the time period, so time goes by quickly," Amendolara said. 

Amendolara said he joined the department because allowed him a chance to serve his community.

"I wanted to do something my kids would be proud of," Amendolara said. "I wanted to protect and serve the community I had lived in my entire life.

"I saw this as my turn to give back."

This is the second time Amendolara has received the officer of the year honor. He was recognized by department officials in 2010.

"I take a lot of pride in my job," Amendolara said. "I do it to the best of my ability and take it seriously."

While officers often see the best and worst things within their community, Amendolara said the happy stories, or when someone appreciates an action, is what keeps him motivated.

He said the success stories, like when someone impacted by drugs turns their life around, help as well.

"I love my job and love what I do," Amendolara said. "I love helping people."

Amendolara and his wife, Ashli, have two daughters - Allera, 12, and Akaidia, 8. They have guardianship of his 16-year-old niece, Shye Ann. The couple has been together since 1997.

Amendolara said his hobbies involve being a "full-time dad" to his girls, be it traveling to sporting events or helping his niece obtain her goal of becoming a nurse.

Other Recognitions

Rudy and Susan Moritz were presented with a special recognition award, to thank them - and their son David - for providing the department awards, badges and challenge coins through Society Awards.

Officer Chris Jordan received the department's public safety award and the chief's award for his work during 2018. 

Adolph and Nancy Loehr were honored as the department's volunteers of the year.

Officers Scott Graham and Ryan Reiman were honored with the department's lifesaving award, for their actions in helping to save the life of a suicidal man. 

Dr. John and Carmel Swartz were honored as this year's citizen's of the year, for their service to the Grove Police Department. 

Sgt. Jerry Bohannan and Lt. (Detective) Mark Sheridan were honored as the first recipients of the department's lifetime achievement award.