Five officers with the Oswego Police Department - including the chief of police and deputy chief - were honored for their years of service with the department at the June 8 village board meeting.
Officers Benjamin Hackl and Ryan Melhouse were recognized for celebrating 15 years of service with the village. Det. Matthew Mumm celebrated 20 years with the village, and Deputy Chief of Police Kevin Norwood and Police Chief Jeff Burgner were each honored for their 25 years of service.
Hackl serves in numerous roles in the department, Burgner told the board and audience at Village Hall, including in the OPD field training program, served in the department’s Fife and Drum brigade, as a range instructor, and was one of the first officers to go through crisis intervention training and currently serves on the crisis intervention team. Hackl also serves on the department’s policy review committee.
“I know there’s many other things, but those are the things that I look at when I think of Ben,” Burgner said of Hackl. “He really prides himself on his ability to help train and mentor our younger, newer officers, and I think that’s something he really looks forward to. I think he takes that role very seriously.”
Melhouse and Mumm were not able to attend the meeting, but were still recognized by Burgner and Village President Troy Parlier.
“We have a lot of dedicated service to the village, and we’re so thankful for our police officers that stick this out,” Parlier said.
Deputy Chief Norwood and Chief Burgner began their duties with OPD on the same day, Burgner told the audience.
“In my short time as mayor, it has been a pleasure to be associated with you,” Parlier told Norwood, saying he had a special appreciation for Norwood.
Norwood served in patrol, truck enforcement, field training and in every available role a sergeant can have in the OPD before he ultimately reached the rank of deputy chief. He also works with the KenCom Board.
“He really focuses on the community and giving back to the community,” Burgner said, describing him as one of the most fair and best people he has ever worked with.
“I know it is in the forefront of everything he does...serving the community and serving the officers he oversees,” Burgner said of Norwood.
Burgner was praised by Parlier and Village Administrator Dan DiSanto during the meeting.
“Starting new without any background in government two years ago...it’s important to me to find people I can count on and trust, and Chief is one of those right away,” Parlier said, calling Burgner selfless.
“That was a huge security blanket when I took office,” Parlier said.
“The village certainly has a lot of thanks for you,” he told Burgner.
DiSanto echoed Parlier’s praise of Burgner and the department, saying, “The excellence of our police department is a reflection on our leader.”
“The work that you’ve done in your time to really build trust in the community is just outstanding,” he said of Burgner.