Batesville Police Department names ‘Officer of the Year’ during annual banquet

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Batesville Police Department (BPD) Criminal Investigator Fred Friar was named Officer of the Year during the BPD’s annual banquet Friday night.

Chief Alan Cockrill said Friar was chosen for his dedication and loyalty to the department and his passion to serve. Friar received a handgun with his name and badge number engraved on the pistol.

In addition, six officers were recognized for their heroism on the job, saving lives as a result of their action. Those officers recognized were: Rob Leonard, Jason Bryant, Marcus Willingham, Shane Hightower, Ryan Pierce and Nate Simmons.

An example of their heroism was the action of Willingham, who was sent to a head-on vehicle collision on East Main where one of the vehicles was on fire. There was a small boy inside, and Willingham dragged him out of the burning vehicle to safety.

Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh was in attendance and reminded the group that the City of Batesville in 2018 was recognized as one of the 25 best places to live in the United State, noting an outstanding police department was one reason the city received high marks.

Cockrill said the police department had a very good year, and he thanked all of his officers for their contribution.  He also thanked the many businesses who contributed to make the department better.

BPD Officer of the Year 2018Batesville Police Chief Alan Cockrill (left) stands with BPD Officer of the Year Fred Friar (center) and Assistant Chief John Scarborough (right) at Friday night’s annual banquet for the department.

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