FAIRBORN — The Knights of Columbus has named the police officer of the year, firefighter of the year, and city employee of the year for the city of Fairborn.
During a ceremony before last month’s city council meeting, BCA Chairman and Past Grand Knight (PGK) John Wolfe called upon Knight Herb Edwards to give the opening prayer and then Grand Knight Eugene Erbacher to lead the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. Fairborn Mayor Paul Keller read a proclamation giving the history of the Knights of Columbus Blue Coat Awards and naming Sept. 8, 2020 as Fairborn Council 3724, Knights Of Columbus, Blue Coat Awards Day. Keller then presented the proclamation to Erbacher.
Sen. Bob Hackett spoke highly of Blue Coat Awards and of the Knights of Columbus for its many years of honoring law enforcement officers, firefighters and many community members.
PGK Wolfe then called on City Manager Rob Anderson to present the Fairborn Employee of the Year award to April Davis.
Davis achieved her Professional of Human Resources (PHR) certification on Nov. 18, 2019. She has worked diligently over the past year to learn the Munis HR software, organizing with the implementer and payroll to ensure personnel actions are transferred to the appropriate approvers. According to her recommendation letter, written by HR Manager Robin McClure, she has over 99 percent accuracy in each and every one of these actions.
Fire Chief David Reichert presented the Fairborn Firefighter of the Year to Lt. Michael Reichert, and Chief of Police Terry Bennington presented the Fairborn Police Officer of the Year award to Joshua Lightner.
Reichert is a U.S. Army veteran, and this year celebrates his 20th anniversary with the Fairborn Fire Department. Over the past several years, he has served as acting lieutenant, and has “invested in improving as a fire service leader through study and modeling behaviors of officers he respects,” according to a recommendation letter by the fire chief. In 2019, he took on the project of converting an old medic unit into an incident support unit, which now serves as an on-scene resource to support firefighter rehab and fire investigation operations. Michael Reichert will be notified of his promotion to lieutenant on Dec. 7.
Lightner has been an officer since January 2017. In his recommendation letter, Bennington wrote, “Although he has not been with the department long, the other young officers look to him as a leader.” Lightner was recently awarded the Department Medal of Valor for his actions when another officer was shot and injured.
Lightner made 49-felony drug related arrests in 2019, which resulted in his winning the department Drug Interdiction Award for that year.
“He is dependable and willing to go beyond the call of duty as a police officer,” Bennington continued.
Erbacher presented a Knights of Columbus plaque and a USA Flag Patch to each honoree. The three also received certificates supplied by Hackett, and Rep. Rick Perales, as well as resolutions supplied by Greene County Commissioners Bob Glaser, Tom Koogler and Dick Gould.
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