Sept. 20, 2011
Virginia ESGR recognizes Chesterfield Police Department
By Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne
Virginia Guard Public Affairs
CHESTERFIELD, Va. — The Virginia State Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recognized the Chesterfield County Police Department Aug. 19 for being a semifinalist in the 2011 Secretary of Defense Freedom Award competition.
(From left to right) Chief Warrant Officer James Herring, Bob Cannon, Virginia ESGR’s state awards director, Col. Thierry Dupuis, Chesterfield chief of police, and Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, Deputy Adjutant General, Virginia National Guard, were on hand to celebrate as the ESGR recognized the Chesterfield Police Department for its support of military reservists. The Chesterfield Police Department finished in the top 30 in the country of the most supportive employers. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
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“One of the fun things we get to do is recognize those employers who go above and beyond what is expected. And I must say you have gone above and beyond in support of your nominator,” said Bob Cannon, the Virginia ESGR’s state awards director, during a ceremony at the Chesterfield Police Department headquarters.
The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. The award was created to publicly recognize employers who provide exceptional support to their National Guard and Reserve employees. It is the highest in a series of employer recognition awards given by the Department of Defense. The Freedom Award is presented annually to the nation's 15 most supportive employers.
There were more than 4,000 Freedom Award nominations in the country and the Chesterfield Police Department finished in the top 30, according to Cannon. In recognition of the department’s top 30 finish and its overall efforts in supporting the 59 military reservists who work there, Cannon presented Col. Thierry Dupuis, chief of police, with a plaque from the Virginia ESGR.
The Chesterfield Police Department was nominated for the Freedom Award by CW4 James Herring of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, North Carolina Army National Guard, who also serves as a lieutenant in the Chesterfield Police Department.
“I like my job and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me the past six years,” Herring said during the ceremony. “And I know the other military members who are also gone appreciate everything you do. It’s nice to be able to come back and see everyone and see you get recognized for your support.”
“You’re doing something that you don’t even have to do but you’re doing it because you want to support people,” said Brig. Gen. Wayne Wright, Deputy Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard. “We can’t thank you enough. We can’t do what we do without employer support. The award is much bigger than that plaque but we appreciate it and it’s our way of saying thank you very much for your support.”
But supporting their coworkers is just something that comes naturally to police officers and the Chesterfield Police Department, according to Dupuis.
“What we do every day is service,” he said. “When you become a police officer you join your whole family into this. A lot of people in this room have gone above and beyond to support those who are deployed and their families. And they do it because they want to and it’s the right thing to do.”