Bainbridge Public Safety Director Eric Miller has been on the job for three years now, and his agency’s first awards ceremony this week reflected the reorganization Miller undertook after arriving in Bainbridge.
Miller succeeded longtime BPS Director Larry Funderburke, who retired. Bainbridge Public Safety had always been separated organizationally between a fire department on the one hand and a police department on the other hand. Although some had suggested splitting the department thusly, returning to the way things were before 1987, Miller embraced the mandate of the Bainbridge City Council to make the agency more cohesive, integrated and efficient.
There are now 41 full-time employees cross-trained in both firefighting and police work, a fair number of them hired by Miller, and those younger officers have joined the department’s veterans in taking on BPS’ mission to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Bainbridge.
BPS Officer of the Year was Captain Mark Equivel, an investigator. Previous recipients of officer of the year awards, who were also recognized, included Major Jerry Carter, Frank Green, Investigator Chip Nix, Capt. Shannon Dunaway and Sgt. Brian Boyett.
Recipients of the Directors’ Commendation of Merit were Major Doyle Welch, Mike Prindle, Hank Day and Major Jerry Carter. Carter, commander of BPS’ patrol division, will retire in August after more than 30 years of service, according to Miller.
Meritorious Service pins were given to BPS Deputy Director Frank Green, Captain Ryan Wimberley, Captain Chris Jordan, Sgt. James Dollar, Captain Mark Esquivel, Investigator Ryan Deen, Officer Robert Day and Officer Gary Hines.
Life-saving awards were given to Chris Jordan and Tim Mixon, and a community service award was given to Kenneth Ellison.
Officers recognized for being POST-certified training instructors were Ryan Wimberley, Chip Nix, Doyle Welch, Ray Cox and Frank Green. Certified firearms instructors are Ryan Wimberley and Ray Cox.
Officers recognized for being POST-certified field training officers were Ray Cox, Brian Boyett, Nigel Hurst, Ryan Wimberley, Terry Pait, Robert Day, Hank Day, Humberto Dean and Pat Bryant.
BPS employees recognized for having served in the U.S. armed forces at some point in their careers included officers Jack Bunting, Kenneth Ellison, Trey Mock, Robert Humphrey, Mark Esquivel, Chris Jordan, James Dollar, Ryan Wimberley, Terry Pait, David Cutchin, Humberto Dean, Mike Prindle, John Walker, Darren Heard and administrative assistant Ame Sanchez.
Recognized for having attended the FBI’s prestigious National Academy were Eric Miller, Robert Humphrey and Frank Green.
Several BPS officers have also obtained four-year college degrees or higher. Holders of bachelor’s degrees include Eric Miller, Jack Bunting, Robert Day, Chris Avery, Hank Day, Chris Prindle, Robert Humphrey, Ryan Deen and administrative assistant Ame Sanchez. Holders of master’s degrees include Frank Green and Eddie Williams.
Please see also: Bainbridge Public Safety officers recognized at awards ceremony
Bainbridge Public Safety – 2013 to 2014 Statistics
- 46 employees, including 41 cross-trained officers, one animal control officer
- 34,319 calls for service
- 133 DUI arrests
- 4.287 citations
- 669 traffic accidents, including 46 with injuries
- 658 cases assigned to investigation, including 81 illegal drug cases and 10 drug search warrants executed
- Drug investigations resulted in the seizure of $23,000 in currency and two vehicles
- Destroyed 300 abandoned guns that had been stored in the BPS evidence vault
- Responded to 73 fires, including 16 kitchen fires and nine brush fires
- Responded to 26 calls involving rescue / EMS situations
- Responded to 74 hazardous condition calls (including gas leaks and oil spillages)
- Conducted fire prevention education which reached 234 adults and 2,523 children
- Participated in 1,611 hours of training
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