Rio names officer of the year, honors retiree

Amber Gillenwater

January 15, 2014

RIO GRANDE — During an awards ceremony held late last month, the Village of Rio Grande honored two of their own, naming their officer of the year and also celebrating the retirement of a longtime village employee.

Ptl. Mark Still of the Village of Rio Grande Police Department was named as the 2013 Officer of the Year award — the first officer of the year award presented by the department — for his services to the village throughout the past year and his outstanding job performance.

According to Rio Grande Police Chief Daniel Day, the village decided to begin an awards program for their police department this past year as a way to recognize the work performed each and every day by the officers who work within the village.

“We just wanted to show some appreciation for the officers,” Day said.

The officer of the year is selected, according to Day, based upon the amount of activity that they have had in the past year, including their involvement in investigating and solving criminal cases.

“Mark’s overall performance this past year is how he was selected as our officer of the year,” Day said. “Not only is he hard working and an asset to the police department, but he is also dedicated to serving the people of Rio Grande.”

Village of Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter also offered his congratulations to Still following the announcement of the award.

“Mark is by no doubt a hard worker and loves the job he does,” Easter said. “The village is lucky to have him, and all the officers that make up our force.”

Also honored during the recent ceremony was Debbie Vance, who had been serving as the village’s water clerk and the clerk of courts for the police department. Her last day on the job was December 31, 2013, almost 30 years to the day since her hiring at the Village of Rio Grande.

Easter also commented on Vance’s years of dedicated service to the village and its people.

“We all hope Debbie enjoys her retirement. She gave the village 30 years, and her retirement plans revolve around her grandchildren,” Easter said. “She will be missed, but we wish her the best.”

During her last day at the village, Vance reported that she would miss her time in Rio Grande, her co-workers and the residents of the village.