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Police Honor Their Best of 2004

Awards Single Out Detective, Officer, Civilian Employee

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 30, 2004; Page DZ04

D.C. Police Detective Anthony Brigidini was named detective of the year for making arrests in four homicides in 2004, officials said.

The award was presented at a recent ceremony honoring police department employees for their performance on the job.

Yvonne Smith used computerized mailing lists to better connect communities and police. (Metropolitan Police Department)

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Brigidini investigated the killing in April of 15-year-old Timothy Hamilton, arresting Cortez L. McCoy, 16, just a few days after the fatal shooting occurred in Southeast Washington. McCoy, charged as an adult, awaits trial on murder charges.

In honoring Brigidini, police officials cited the detective's "tenacity and diligence" during the last year. Brigidini, who has investigated homicides for the last 12 years, joined the force in 1989.

Officer Ivan Jordan was recognized as the department's officer of the year for taking a different approach in trying to discourage car thefts by juveniles, police officials said.

Jordan took over a youth education program in the 6th District. He said he believed it needed to be more focused.

Instead of speaking to auditoriums full of students, he began talking to smaller classrooms at elementary and junior high schools.

He also created a coloring book to accompany his Power Point presentation about the dangers of stealing cars. Jordan said the coloring book tells the story of an officer arresting a youth for stealing a car.

Jordan, who joined the force six years ago, also won a $1,000 grant to sponsor a recent essay contest. More than 200 students participated, Jordan said.

(For a copy of the coloring book, call Jordan at 202-727-4520.)

The department recognized Yvonne Smith as its civilian employee of the year. Smith set up computer mailing list servers that connected communities to police in several city neighborhoods, police officials said.

Smith also pushed to get anti-crime programs into schools and created guides to help citizens contact police and officials in other city agencies, police officials said.

Among others honored:

Medal of Valor: Officers Eldred Boria, Robert Braxton, Michael Eames and Buddy Smallwood.

Blue Badge Medal: Sgts. John S. Ashley and Clifton Rife II, both of whom died in the line of duty.

Life-Saving Medal: Officers Dennis Hance, Michael Pratt, Joseph Welsh, Melvin Lee, Robert Calligaro, Patrick Schaut, Laschon Harvell, Robert Johnson, Warren Evan Jones and Stephen Mann; Detective Robert Saunders; civilian employee Willis Powell; Master Patrol Officer Alfred Walker.

For more on the awards, visit the "news room" page on the police department's Web site, www.mpdc.dc.gov/news/news.shtm.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company