By Kitty Merrill
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They ran into a burning building, cracked a huge sex abuse case, stopped crime in progress, worked undercover on drug investigation, and enjoyed overall career excellence. Last Friday night in Aquebogue, they enjoyed their moment in the limelight, as the Southampton Town Kiwanis Club hosted its 43rd annual Police Awards dinner at The Vineyards.
Detective Tina Giles of the East Hampton Town Police Department, seen top, left, with Chief Ed Ecker, was both the town's Officer of the Year recipient and the top achiever named for the Howard Stock Memorial Award. She was the first woman to earn the award, which is given to the outstanding officer among East End agencies.
Be sure to visit The Independent website, www.indyeastend.com, for a video interview with Giles and Ecker discussing the case she cracked.
Additional officers recognized for going above and beyond were (top, right) PO Jacob Bogdoen, seen with Southold Town PD Chief Martin Flatley; (right, center) East Hampton Village Police Officer Mario Julio Galeano, seen with his chief, Jerry Larsen (right).
(Bottom, right) Captain Bridge Smith (left) poses with Riverhead Town PD's Officer of the Year, PO Patrick Lennon. Southampton Town's top cop PO Gina Johnson is seen with her chief, Robert Pearce, at bottom, left. (Left, center), Sag Harbor Village Chief Tom Fabiano mugs for the camera with PO David Driscoll. The Southampton Village Officer of the Year works undercover, Chief Thomas Cummings asked The Independent to skip the pictures.
Also honored Friday night were Quogue Village Police Officer Daniel Hartman, Shelter Island Town PO Anthony Rando and Det. Sgt. Jack H. Thilberg, and PO Kenneth Bigora of the Westhampton Beach Police Department. Recognition was also bestowed upon personnel from the county courts, state police, sheriff's department, and county corrections.