Rolla police officers received scores of commendations and honors Saturday night at the Rolla Police Department’s Golden Shield Awards banquet held at Lions Den in Lions Club Park.

Rolla police officers received scores of commendations and honors Saturday night at the Rolla Police Department’s Golden Shield Awards banquet held at Lions Den in Lions Club Park.

The evening’s review of events of the past 12 months included stories of great heroism, stories that ended in success, stories that ended in failure and stories that ended in hope. A couple of awards presenters spoke with profound emotion.

There was also plenty of time for levity as a mystery/comedy produced by SPO Frank Hawkins, who also served as the banquet’s emcee, and starring members of the department was shown in episodes between awards presentations. Three top awards were given:

• Mayor Bill Jenks presented the Mayor’s Award to Cpl. Adam Meyer. The mayor said Meyer is motivated not by awards or even by making arrests; rather, his motivation is to remove drugs from Rolla and make this a safer community.

• A team of officers and detectives involved in a Christmas Eve 2011 motel drug bust received the Judge Joanne Mayberry Award, an award first given in 2010. It is named in honor of the former Rolla municipal judge who learned in 1975 that children were in the city jail with their parents in Rolla. Her investigation led to the closing of that jail, her election to the post of city judge and her election as the first female, non-lawyer president of the state association of municipal judges. The award named for Judge Mayberry is given to an officer or group of officers who exhibit her tenacity in a case.

• The first-ever Stanley G. Spadoni Award went to the SWAT team. Spadoni, a former Rolla police chief, presented the awards to the individual members himself after receiving the Chief’s Achievement Award from Police Chief Mark Kearse.

“I’m just the coach; they are the players,” Spadoni said after he received the achievement award, explaining his view of his tenure as chief. Continuing, Spadoni spoke of his pride in the Rolla Police Department and in individual officers.

He spoke forcefully of the importance of recognizing the people in the department and the people in the community. Acknowledging he was beginning to feel emotional, the former chief thanked Kearse and the RPD for the honor. “I’ll cherish it the rest of my life.

Spadoni’s wife, Dorothy, also was honored, receiving a bouquet for her support of law enforcement and the RPD. Shortly after sitting down, Spadoni was back at the podium to honor the SWAT team.

“Be very proud,” Spadoni told the audience, not only of the SWAT team, but the entire department, including the men and women who patrol the streets daily and those who work in various supportive roles.

Jenks also presented Kearse with a special award for the chief’s work in bringing synthetic drugs to the public’s attention, an award requested by police officers.

In his remarks, Jenks spoke forcefully and with emotion, of his pride in the Rolla police and fire departments, noting that many members of the Rolla community have on numerous occasions expressed to him their support of and pride in the public safety departments of the city.

Many other awards were given throughout the evening. Shift commanders reviewed major incidents in videotaped messages, and personnel involved in those incidents were to receive such awards as the Grand Cordon, the Life-saving and the Samaritan awards.

Sgt. Vince Giacoloni, director of the Volunteers in Police Service, gave awards to volunteers for exceptional work.

Kearse gave out some other awards, including one to Phelps County Sheriff’s Deputy Carmelo Crivello, who works closely with Rolla officers on drug interdiction.

The Rolla Daily News has requested a complete list of awards and commendations for publication later this week.