Press release from the City of Hendersonville:
The Hendersonville Police Department held their annual awards ceremony to recognize officers and employees for outstanding service on March 27, 2019 at Bay Breeze Restaurant. Officer Colby Allman was named the Police Officer of the Year for 2018. Captain Bruce Simonds and Officer Jeff Tankersley were congratulated on their retirements and recognized for their years of dedicated service.
Police Chief Herbert Blake welcomed staff and guests followed by an invocation by Chaplain Chuck Evans. District Attorney Greg Newman addressed the group and thanked the staff for making Hendersonville a great place to live.
“This is a great department and it’s a credit to all of you,” said District Attorney Greg Newman. “You take your job seriously. You take your training seriously. What you do does not go unrecognized.”
Captain Tracey Cox highlighted the work of two retiring officers who have made a big impact on the department and the community: Officer Jeff Tankersley and Captain Bruce Simonds.
Officer Jeff Tankersley joined the Hendersonville Police Department in 2012. Prior to working at HPD, he spent ten years working for the Asheville Police Department and twelve years working as a Probation Officer for the NC Department of Public Safety. Officer Tankersley has his Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate and has served as a General Instructor and Field Training Officer.
“I am blessed to have been one of you,” said Officer Tankersley when he accepted his award. “The greatest memories I’ve had have been with you all.”
Captain Bruce Simonds began working with the Hendersonville Police Department in 1990. He rose through the ranks of Police Officer II, Master Patrol Officer, Lieutenant and finally Captain of the Patrol Services Bureau. On Friday, his final day with the police department, he will be honored with a ceremony that will include a bagpiper at City Hall in appreciation of his thirty years of service.
Captain Simonds thanked the Lord for keeping him safe and thanked his wife and the City of Hendersonville.
“The Hendersonville Police Department flourishes and continues to flourish,” said Simonds. He mentioned the impact previous and current colleagues had had on his life and said, “All of these people from day one have gotten me to where I am now.”
Chief Herbert Blake spoke about both men’s careers and expressed his appreciation for all they had done for the department and the city.
The following individuals were honored and recognized with department awards:
2019 Lifesaving Award – Officer Cameron Singleton
2018 Chief’s Award for School Crossing Guard – Julia Alston
2018 Chief’s Award for Outstanding Team – Team 2
Lieutenant Dale Patton
Sergeant Bruce Darrah
Officer Michele Hoyle
Officer Zeffrey Childress
Officer Adalberto Morales
2018 Reserve Employee of the Year – Reserve Telecommunicator Olivia Orr
2018 Telecommunicator of the Year – Tiffany Henderson
2018 Rookie of the Year – Officer Austin Putnam
2018 Inez Norman Award for Excellence – Office Personnel of the Year – Melissa Justus
2018 Detective of the Year – Detective Nathan Smith
2018 Bill Powers Leadership Award – Supervisor of the Year – Lieutenant Jimmy Case
2018 Police Officer of the Year – Officer Colby Allman