Bath Police Department bestows annual awards

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BATH — The Police Department honored four of its officers Feb. 17 in an annual awards ceremony.

Officer Shaun Cavanaugh, who was a Sagadahoc County Communications Center dispatcher before joining the department 2 1/2 years ago, was named 2014 Officer of the Year.

The department in a Feb. 18 press release described Cavanaugh as “a quiet, but stays-busy type of officer. He brings a sense of calm to police work as well as a great attitude. He has formed strong bonds with fellow officers. He always goes above and beyond what is expected of him.”

Chris Carlton, Bath’s traffic safety officer, received the Employee of the Year award for the second time in his nearly seven years with the department.

Carlton “goes above and beyond what is expected of him,” the press release said, noting that he organizes the Spirit of Christmas Fair each year, an event that funds the department’s DARE program, while handling tasks beyond parking enforcement.

Belita Velizco, a Volunteers in Police Service member for almost a decade, was named the John “Jack” Hart Jr. Volunteer of the Year.

“She worked for a long time in the school system with kids,” the press release stated. “When she talks to kids, she encourages them to do well and also gives them a positive caring outlook. Belita’s biggest gift is her positive attitude toward everyone.”

Two awards went to Cpl. Michelle Small, who in 2013 became the department’s first female supervisor. She earned the Commendation for State honor, a nod to her and her police dog, Sampson, being named the Maine State Grange Community Service’s outstanding K9 team of the year last October.

Small also earned her third merit pin, an award offers earn for every five letters of appreciation they receive.

I am very proud of each of this year’s recipients,” Police Chief Mike Field said. “They are a true reflection of the Department they serve.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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Bath Police Cpl. Michelle Small, with her police dog Sampson, was honored twice Feb. 17 at the deparment’s annual awards ceremony.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.