Italy Police Officer Shelbee Richardson was named Officer of the Year at a ceremony held Tuesday night prior to the Italy City Council meeting.

“This officer has done many things beyond the traditional aspects of police work,” Police Chief Diron Hill said of Richardson. “This officer has helped with every community event including Shop with a Hero and National Night Out. This officer is dedicated to this community and always has pride in her work.”

The chief said Richardson is also responsible for animal control and code enforcement. He said Richardson has done a fantastic job with controlling loose animals that can be a health hazard and danger to the public.

Richardson also organized a low-cost vaccination clinic the past two years for citizens. He said she has been responsible for the removal of many dilapidated buildings that were an eyesore.

Hill also recognized other officers and several residents. Hill presented five officers with Meritorious Conduct Awards – Shawn Martin, Daniel Pitts, Mike Richardson, Shelbee Richardson and Mike Stevens.

He said these officers showed an immense amount of dedication and professionalism during the Milford gas explosion in November.

“Because of each of your efforts,” Hill said. “The citizens of Milford were made to feel welcome and safe during that difficult time.”

Stevens was awarded the Medal of Valor Award for “exceptional bravery during an extremely dangerous situation.” Hill said Stevens was on duty during the early morning hours of Nov. 17, when a triple homicide had occurred in Bardwell. Continuing, he said Stevens heard the information over the radio and assisted with the arrest when the suspect stopped at a gas station in Italy. Hill said the suspect had the murder weapon in the seat with him during the contact.

Community Service Awards went to Stevens, Eric Tolliver, Mike Richardson, Sue Lauhoff, Jenifer Merimon, Shawn Martin, Daniel Pitts, Shelbee Richardson, Manuela Martin and Teri Murdock.

This award, chief said, is for exceptional service to community relations by participating in the 2013 National Night Out in Italy on Oct. 1.

Community Service Awards went to Rodney Guthrie, mayor pro-tem; Shelbee Richardson, Mike Richardson, Stevens, Tolliver, Lauhoff and Manuela Martin. These awards were for their participation with the Shop with a Hero program and the second annual Guns and Hoses Softball Game and Fireworks Show.

Clint McCasland received a Community Service Award for his dedication to serving the city and assisting the police department with various community events throughout 2013. McCasland was commended for his service and helpful attitude by helping make all the events successful.

Mike Richardson and Stevens were recognized for obtaining Field Training Officer certifications. Hill also recognized Elmerine Bell and Meg Lyons for their community participation as well.