Officers of the Year.

Mercer Island Officers of the Year, from left, Kim Druktenis, Brian Noel and Ryan Parr. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island Officers of the Year, from left, Kim Druktenis, Brian Noel and Ryan Parr.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

Noel, Parr and Druktenis take top honors

About 50 family members, police officers and firefighters honored and recognized the best of the Island’s police department last Wednesday, which named its three Officers of the Year.

Brian Noel, Ryan Parr and police support officer Kim Druktenis received the Officer of the Year award. All employees of the department vote for the recipients. Command staff also honored others for their honorable achievements in 2007.

Noel, who became an Island police officer in 1991 and was promoted to sergeant 14 years later, was selected by his peers as the Sergeant of the Year for the second consecutive time. During his tenure in the department, he has served many duties in most special units.

“He’s a ‘You name it, he’s done it’ kind of guy,” said police chief Ed Holmes of Noel.

Parr also received his second Officer of the Year award. He serves on the marine patrol and the special operations team, and is a bike team leader. Holmes said that in his file, his superiors have noted that he has a strong customer service philosophy, carried over from his years of working in the restaurant industry.

“He always demonstrates good officer safety. He’s reliable, active and self-motivated. He’s quick to smile and always has a positive attitude,” Holmes read from the file.

Druktenis joined the force about a year ago, and after training, she started enforcing parking regulations in the Town Center and the leash law at city parks. Though she has been on the force for only a year, Holmes noted that she made an immediate impact.

“I’m not surprised her peers selected her for this award, given the hard work she’s shown she does,” Holmes said.

Dressed in civilian attire due to a recent ankle surgery, Holmes said he was proud of the accomplishments of his officers last year. In addition to hiring Druktenis, the department also acquired a new marine patrol vessel currently under construction, hired three new officers and re-equipped its patrol cars after receiving nearly $500,000 from the IRS for a methamphetamine case that it helped to solve in 2001.

Sergeant John Pritchard was honored for his role in that investigation as well as his accomplishments catching car prowlers and thieves during his duty on the graveyard shift.

“He embodies the spirit of community policing,” said Operations Commander Dave Jokinen.

Officer Todd Wilson also earned the Top Gun award, which honors the officer with the highest average of all test scores for the year.

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