Sunday, May 25, 2008

Police Officer of the Year for 2007

The Citizens' Voice is reporting that a coast-to-coast homicide investigation was not what Dallas Township police Chief Robert Jolley expected to happen while he was attending the FBI National Academy last year.

But when a fire at a home on Midland Drive the night of Jan. 24, 2007, turned into a full-scale manhunt for the killers of Bryan Charles Kocis, Jolley was glad he left Sgt. Douglas Higgins in charge.

“I had no qualms at all about leaving it in his capable hands while I was in training,” Jolley said. “I’d say the arrest of two people in a case that goes from the Atlantic to the Pacific is exceptional.”

Higgins coordinated an investigation stretching from Virginia Beach to San Diego which ultimately resulted in the capture of Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra, who will head to trial this fall.

Higgins’ work on the Kocis murder earned him the title of Police Officer of the Year for 2007. He was among eight men and women recognized for their professionalism and dedication to the Back Mountain at the inaugural First Responder of the Year award ceremony at Appletree Terrace on Thursday.