Archives – March, 2012

APD recognizes achievements at annual banquet

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.

Leave a Comment March 16, 2012

City installs bicycle repair station

ASHEVILLE – City of Asheville employees recently installed a “Fixit” bicycle service station at the Clingman Avenue roundabout. It is a repair stand with an attached air pump and hand tools, including screwdrivers, wrenches and a tire lever. The station provides an opportunity for a cyclist to make minor repairs and adjustments on the road rather than having to carry tools or walk an ailing bicycle home.

“The city consulted with members of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force and other cyclists about whether they would thought this was a good investment in encouraging bicycling, and to find the best location to test one of these stations,” said City Transportation Planner Barb Mee. “This was the consensus.”

The River Arts District is a destination and a bicycle crossroads. It is at the bottom of two long hills that join West Asheville and downtown, and near the Lyman Street and Riverside Drive bicycle lanes. The location is also next to a transit stop that serves downtown and West Asheville.

People have already noticed the repair station. Area resident Kelly Ingram noted, “the bicycle service station is incredibly helpful! I can use it when I bike to and from work and when I’m commuting around town. It is at a very convenient location so I don’t have to worry if my tire gets low or I need a few tools while I’m in the River Arts District or biking to West Asheville!”

The station is an investment aligned with city goals of integrating non-motorized modes into the city’s transportation network and providing Asheville’s residents and visitors with transportation options. It also makes the city friendlier to bicycles, another City Council objective. According to Mee, “An area where bicyclists feel welcome is one where they will patronize area businesses and spend their money. This, along with good bicycle parking, is a way to make cyclists feel welcome.”

“The cycling community is thrilled by the fix-it station in the River Arts District. Cyclists can tune up their bicycles after a ride along the river and greenway. The fix-it station also strengthens Asheville’s commitment to multi-modal transportation as it’s located at a bus stop on the recently improved sidewalks of Clingman Ave. I’m proud of our city’s expansion of infrastructure that supports the many modes people use throughout the day. The fix-it is a winner,” said Mike Sule of Asheville on Bikes, an area advocacy group.

Bicycling for transportation is a way to incorporate physical activity into someone’s day. Studies have found that people who use active transportation are, on average, more physically fit and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to people who use only motorized transportation.

“Kudos to the City for the installation of the Bicycle Fix-It Station in the River District. People of all ages and sizes can reap the benefits of feeling good about their health and themselves by engaging in active transportation. Studies show that the risk of chronic disease is reduced and that individuals report greater vitality and a sense of well-being when they walk or bicycle regularly”. Vicki Rowe-Currence, Health Promotion Educator and member of the Asheville Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force.

These public bicycle service stations have been used in other cities, including Wilmington (NC); Cambridge, Mass., and Omaha, Nebraska.

2 Comments March 15, 2012

Ceremonial swearing-in of City of Asheville Police Department Chief William Anderson

Leave a Comment March 1, 2012

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