ASHEVILLE – On the evening of 3-01-12, the City of Asheville Police Department held its annual Awards Banquet to celebrate the many achievements of the department from the previous year.
Asheville’s own local celebrity Harry Anderson, (from TV’s Night Court and Dave’s World), very graciously and hilariously provided the evenings entertainment and expertly shepherded the award recipients through the night’s festivities.
Among the many receiving awards this year:
Sgt. Ernie Welborn: Officer of the Year
Sgt. Ernie Welborn, a 27 year veteran of the department, constantly proves himself to be a valuable asset to both the police department and the City of Asheville. Ernie began his career in 1985 and has served the department as a Patrol Officer, K9 Handler, Forensic Technician, Detective, and Detective Sergeant.
He has assisted or led thousands of case investigations ranging from homicides, rapes, assaults, frauds, and theft. Sgt. Welborn is known around the office for his technical computer skills, and has the reputation for being able to find just about anything on anyone electronically. These skills have aided in the apprehension of countless numbers of wanted and missing persons.
Sgt. Welborn has done a great deal of research for APD in preparing our agency for electronic reporting of pawned items, commonly referred to as “Leads Online”. If enacted, this ordinance will assist APD in locating stolen property much quicker, and hopefully apprehending thieves.
He has researched and outlined the necessary technical specifications of a proposed interview room and camera system for the Investigations Division that once installed will enable better recording of suspect interviews.
Sgt. Welborn has spent a great deal of time and work coordinating with the District Attorney’s Office and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in moving the department forward with electronic DA Papering. This program is still in a pilot phase with Asheville being one of a handful of departments across NC participating. Once fully enacted, this undoubtedly will save thousands of dollars per year in paper and personnel costs to our agency.
In the 2011 calendar year, Sgt. Welborn has assigned and/or closed over 6,700 cases and 5,600 detective case supplements.
Chief Anderson and the men and women of the Asheville Police Department are very proud of Sgt. Welborn’s achievements as an Asheville Police Officer and for his excellent service to the community and the City of Asheville.
Nancy Carlson: Volunteer of the Year
Ms. Carlson has been volunteering for the Asheville Police Department for nearly 18 years traveling from Transylvania County once a week to volunteer in Victim Services.
Karla Reed: Volunteer of the Year
Ms. Reed has been volunteering with the Departments Emergency Response Team for 17 years as the units Paramedic. Before retiring from Buncombe County EMS, she would burn holiday or vacation time to train with the team. She is the team’s longest serving member.
Grey Clough: Explorer of the Year
Mr. Clough is an Asheville High School student who joined the Explorer Post in 2010.
He has shown his dedication to the Post by volunteering to assist at such events as the Christmas Parade, Bele Chere, and meeting and sharing with youth students at the Reid Center. He is an informal leader to newer members and was a member of the team that won first place in Felony Vehicle Stops, at the Winterfest Competition in Gatlinburg, TN.
Sgt. Don Eberhardt: Chaplains Award
Sgt. Eberhardt, a 12 veteran of the department, was awarded the Chaplains award for his continued support and dedication to this all volunteer unit of civilian chaplains. Chaplain’s duties include counseling, crisis response, visiting sick or injured officers and their families, and providing assistance with death notifications.
Barbara Brank: Civilian Employee of the Year
Barbara is a 20 year veteran employee of the department and is currently assigned to the Central Records Unit. In a job that demands excellent customer service skills, Barbara always rises to the challenges and demands of her job. Her work ethic is second to none and in the past year has taken more than 49% (over 600) of the reports taken by the Central Records Unit. This is a count unmatched by most, if not all, of the officers of the department.
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