Janesville Police Department awards top employees

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Friday, April 11, 2014

JANESVILLE--The Janesville Police Department honored its 2013 department award recipients with a reception in March.

The department issued the following information about the award winners:

-- Officer Chad L. Woodman, Meritorious Service Citation for subduing a man armed with a butcher knife.

Woodman responded to a violent domestic dispute in which a father was beating a mother and had armed himself with a knife. Woodman saw the children of the couple outside the home and told them to run down the street and hide until other officers arrived.

When the father exited the house holding a butcher knife, he refused to drop the knife and would not comply with Woodman's commands. After further commands were ignored, Woodman used his Taser to incapacitate the man and took him into custody.

The man was arrested for four criminal charges.

During the event, Woodman ensured the safety of the two children, the victim and himself and safely took the suspect into custody. Woodman's actions reflect his ability to perform under stress while utilizing his training, according to the department release.

Woodman has been employed by the department since 2000. He works third shift patrol and is a sniper on the SWAT team. Woodman was awarded a Chief's Commendation for an incident he responded to in October 2013.

-- Officer Shane A. Punzel, Police Officer of the Year. Punzel has been an officer with the department since 1996 and works first shift patrol. In addition to his duties as a patrol officer, Punzel is a member of the SWAT team and is a firearms instructor.

-- Karen E. Burdick, Civilian Employee of the Year. Burdick joined the department in 1997 as an administrative aide, moved to the position of records manager in 2009 and currently is the chief's secretary.

In 2013, Burdick managed the changeover to the department's new records management system. She assisted in the selection of the new system by serving on a countywide committee, formed in 2009. She spent hours designing the system to meet the needs of the Janesville Police Department, along with preparing and entering all the necessary data to ensure a smooth transition from the old to the new system.

-- Lt. Terrence E. Sheridan, Award of Excellence. Sheridan joined the department as an officer in 1992. He is assigned to third shift patrol.

Since his promotion to lieutenant in 2010, Sheridan has worked on technology initiatives for the department.

Sheridan also manages the field training officer program. He recently updated the program to include problem oriented policing tactics. In conjunction with the field training program, he oversees all background investigations conducted for police officer candidates.

-- Officer Benjamin G. Biddick, Problem Oriented Policing Award. Biddick was hired by the department in 2010 and works third shift patrol.

In the fall 2013, the north side of Janesville experienced a string of residential burglaries. Biddick designed a residential security notice to be left at homes where unlocked doors or vehicles were found. By making residents more aware of security, it is likely that burglaries to those homes will be prevented, according to the release.

-- Officer Bradley T. Rau, Problem Oriented Policing Award. Rau joined the department in 1999 and works first-shift patrol.

Starting in 2011, the Rock County area started to see an influx of live musical events at bars featuring musical acts from out of the area. Such an event in the town of Beloit ended with a fatal shooting involving a town of Beloit officer in 2011.

During a similar event in Janesville in 2012, an altercation occurred in the parking lot and one gunshot was fired. During two similar events in Newville in 2013 and 2014, one person was shot each time.

Recognizing the trend of violence surrounding these events, Rau met with a local bar that often hosted similar events and worked with the bar owner to review safety practices. Suggestions were made to help increase both patron and officer safety. After continued meetings with the bar owner, no major incidents have occurred during events at this bar over the past two years.

-- Kealey Pharmacy, Law Enforcement Service Award: Business. Kealey Pharmacy, Janesville's only independently owned pharmacy, is an active participant in the Rx Alert program. Rx Alert is a cooperative effort to increase communication between the Janesville Police Department, local pharmacies and health care providers to reduce prescription drug violations. The pharmacist and employees of Kealey Pharmacy use the information provided by Rx Alert to recognize potential abuse cases and act on them accordingly.

In April 2013, the department received information on several out-of-state individuals attempting to pass prescriptions for narcotics at local pharmacies. Mark Johnson, owner of Kealey Pharmacy, received a call from an individual asking to have an out-of-state narcotic prescription filled. Based on the information obtained through Rx Alert, employees notified police and a suspect was taken into custody for a prescription drug offense. A similar incident in the spring of 2013 led to the arrest of a Janesville female who was attempting to pass fraudulent prescriptions.

-- Brian W. Iverson, Law Enforcement Service Award: Citizen. On Oct. 26, 2013, Iverson confronted an intruder in his home. During the confrontation, Iverson sustained injuries to his left eye and elbow.

Janesville police officers were in the area investigating a complaint of a burglary from a nearby home. Officers arrived and took the suspect into custody. The suspect was arrested on multiple charges. Iverson's actions resulted in the capture and arrest of the suspect.

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