Detective Adam Brownlee of the Pleasantville Police Department was awarded the city's Officer of the Year Award for his dedication, hard work and commitment to public safety, Capt. Rocky Melendez said.
"I feel that it was long overdue," Melendez said.
Despite lack of manpower and changes in the department over the years, Melendez and Brownlee's current supervisor, Sgt. James "Skipp" Williams, consistently saw Brownlee as a deserving and crucial member of their team, ever since he joined the department in 2003.
"(Brownlee is) a guy that comes in, he sits at (his) desk … and he's always working. …He's always looking for something to build his cases," Williams said.
Brownlee, drafted for his skill into the department's criminal investigations section in 2005, has worked on a variety of cases - anything from burglaries to homicides.
Since the department condensed the narcotics department primarily to Brownlee in 2012, he has remained a credible resource for his supervisors and the department as a whole.
"I rely on him a lot," Williams said. "He's very smart, very knowledgeable of the job. … He's just someone I can go to and get a good answer."
Throughout his career, his keenness for narcotics landed him brief assignments with the FBI as well as recognition by the Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association for his work on a specific job, involving a seizure of $60,000 and more than 7,000 bags of heroin, Melendez said.
"It's an honor," Brownlee said of his most recent public recognition.
With more than 40 candidates to be considered for a nomination, Brownlee said he felt compelled to commend his fellow officers and supervisors for their support.
"It is not one person; it is a team concept," he said of his work. "I can't go out there by myself and do all this stuff alone. … It is basically with their blessing."
As for the upcoming year, Brownlee hopes to maintain his commitment to the city's safety, with plans to rely on his own innovativeness and the support of the surrounding community.
"(I'm going in with) the same mindset, same drive, just going forward," he said. "We can sit here and make excuses about why not to do the job or how you can't do the job, but we have to be innovative to continue at the same level."
Brownlee dedicates his life to the position, considering it a second marriage, he said. But, as the reports for violent crime increase, he knows he cannot do it alone.
"My hope is that we continue to send a message that we get the support from the community."
Brownlee received his formal recognition as Officer of the Year at a ceremony held at the City Council reorganization meeting Jan. 7.
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