PAOLA — Paola Police Chief Don Poore presented several of his officers with awards during the May 14 Paola City Council meeting.

The ceremony was part of the department’s recognition of National Law Enforcement Memorial Week.

Capt. Eric Jenkins and Lt. Chad Corbin received letters of commendation for going above and beyond the call of duty to help an elderly woman whose apartment was flooding due to a water heater leak.

The incident took place in February, and Jenkins and Corbin responded to the scene with equipment to remove about 100 gallons of standing water from the scene.

Jenkins also was praised for writing and submitting a Baehr Foundation grant request that recently was approved for the purchase of five new defibrillators for patrol vehicles at a cost of $7,725.

Poore also credited Detective Jason Frizzell with obtaining the prices and statistics for the new defibrillators and conducting maintenance on the units throughout the year.

Sgt. Ryan Rayzor received the Medal of Merit for implementing the Take Me Home program at the department. The program is designed to improve the department’s response and relationship with autistic youths and other members of the population with special needs.

Officers Luke Hornbacher and Mitch Gabbert also received the Medal of Merit for spotting and reporting a fire in the early morning hours of Nov. 22, 2018, in the 200 block of East Chippewa Street. The officers woke the residents and evacuated them while Paola firefighters extinguished the fire.

The final presentation was for the Officer of the Year Award, and this was the first year for the award to be given out.

Poore presented the award to officer Michael Bliss for not only his police work but for continuing to display positivity, humility and professionalism on a daily basis.

“Since being hired in 2016, officer Michael Bliss has continued to demonstrate a strong desire to grow as an officer and a person,” Poore said. “During that time, he was demonstrated an unwavering loyalty and dedication to the mission and goals of the Paola Police Department.”

In addition to the awards, Poore also recognized other officers for varying reasons.

Officers Keith Myers and Mitch Gabbert recently graduated from a 14-week police academy, Sgt. Marc Miller has been instrumental in the recent implementation of mobile data terminals in patrol vehicles, and Catelyn Brady is the newest police officer to join the department.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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