Williamsburg K-9 Officer Elijah Hunter was recognized as his department’s officer of the year during a brief informal ceremony at Williamsburg City Hall Wednesday evening.
“Elijah has really stepped up to the plate. If anybody has changed in the last two years, it is Elijah. He is a heck of a K-9 unit. Any time you call, he is Johnny on the spot and he is out there and doing it. We are presenting him with the 2018 Officer of the Year Award,” said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird.
The award plaque reads, “Presented to K-9 Officer Elijah Hunter in recognition of your effort, attitude, team work and your extraordinary devotion to the police department of the city of Williamsburg. Congratulations and thank you for your diligence and dedication.”
Lt. Jim Pool, who supervises the K-9 division, also presented Hunter with a certificate of appreciation.
Pool noted that the department had about 100 calls in 2017 involving a K-9 unit, and about 140 calls in 2018 with Hunter and his K-9 partner, Vicko, answering about 80 – 90 percent of those calls.
“As the chief said, he works his butt off,” Pool added. “Thank you. I appreciate it.”
Also during the ceremony, Bird announced the promotion of three officers.
Sgt. Brandon White and Detective Bobby Freeman were promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
“Brandon does a good job. He has been a sergeant for a long time. Brandon is one of those I can call, and if I ask him to do something, he is there doing it,” Bird said.
Freeman will supervise investigations as part of his new duties.
Officer David Rowe was promoted and will replace Freeman as the department’s detective.
“Not too many people want to be detective, but Rowe has kind of stepped up to the plate. He has picked his game up. Personally, I think you have the knack for it. I think you will do a good job at it,” Bird said.
Freeman has been with the Williamsburg Police Department for 13 years, White and Hunter for 10 years, and Rowe for three years. All had prior law enforcement experience with other agencies prior to going to work at Williamsburg.
Bird told the officers that the sergeant’s position is now open, but he isn’t in a hurry to fill it.
“We’ll see who wants to step up to the plate and be sergeant,” he added. “In my opinion we have the best police department around, and I would put this department up against any police department in this state.”