On Dec. 10, 2014, the City of Lilburn recognized employees for their top achievements at an annual awards luncheon.
"All these things do make a city -- our buildings, infrastructure, and streets. But nothing makes a city more than the employees, the way we treat each other and most importantly the way we treat our residents," City Manager Bill Johnsa said.
The final award of the day was presented to Johnsa. The City Council recognized his outstanding service to the citizens and employees of the City of Lilburn. "Organizations just don't get to be great organizations unless we have great people at the very top," Mayor Johnny Crist said. "Our city is very fortunate to have in its top position Bill Johnsa ... Without his skilled leadership, we would not be celebrating nearly so many accomplishments on this day."
Applause Awards: Reggie Andrews (August), Dimas Buendia (September), Kathy Hill (October), Andy Blimline and Micky White (November), Wayne Dubose (December)
Monthly award given to an employee who goes above and beyond, many times helping citizens in need. This program was started in August 2014. Employees are nominated by other employees or council members and are selected by committee.
Officer of the Year: Officer AJ Ajanovic Officer Ajanovic was chosen for Officer of the Year due to his fervor for the job. He is very thorough in everything he does and is an example of a good work ethic to all of the other officers. Due to his attention to detail, he located and apprehended an armed robbery suspect who robbed a local gas station. His arrest resulted in subsequent warrants for four additional armed robberies from the County Police. If not for Officer Ajanovic, this suspect would still be at large.
Top Gun Award: Capt. Thom Bardugon
This award is presented to the police officer who maintains the highest qualification average for the year. Captain Thom Bardugon maintained an average score of 291 out of 300.
Ambassador of the Year (sworn employee): Investigator Sabrina Thornton Investigator Sabrina Thornton was chosen for Ambassador of the year, due to the work and dedication she exhibits while working with the Police Explorers. Investigator Thornton is the Explorer Post Advisor who is responsible for the development, implementation, coordination and training of the Explorer Program. She is making a positive difference in the youth’s lives, which is certainly one of our goals of the department.
Ambassador of the Year (non-sworn employee): Rhonda Davis
Mrs. Rhonda Davis was chosen as non-sworn ambassador, due to her attitude and work ethic. She is probably one of the people who the public comes in the most contact with from the Police Department. She is always helpful and never gets frustrated. Mrs. Davis is often commended by the public as being very professional and helpful.
Supervisor of the Year: Sgt. Steve Castor Sgt. Castor was nominated for Supervisor of the Year by several officers and supervisors. Sgt. Castor has demonstrated to the new Sergeants what is needed to be done to effectively supervise and manage their shifts. Sgt. Castor is always willing to assist and to answer questions for officers and supervisors. Sgt. Castor is respected and is thought of a fair supervisor and is a good example to his subordinates.
Meritorious Service Award: Investigator Bert Ross, Investigator Cody Belcher, Investigator Sabrina Thornton, and Lt. Chris Dusik
The investigators of CID (Investigator Ross, Investigator Belcher, Investigator Thornton, and Lieutenant Dusik) were chosen due to their hard work clearing and solving a homicide that occurred on March 3, 2014. The CID Investigators worked long hours for about a month in order to not let the leads turn cold (one day they worked 23 hours strait). The Investigators stayed with the investigation until it was completed, and charges were filed against the perpetrator, hopefully bringing some sort of closure to the family of the victim and making the City a safer place.
Chief’s Award of Merit: Officer Ron Jones Officer Jones was instrumental improving this department by identifying deep-rooted corruption, having the moral turpitude and courage to bring this corruption to light. This act significantly improved the department and returned the department to the standard expected by the citizens of Lilburn.
Officers of the Quarter: Almedin (AJ) Ajanovic, Sabrina Thornton and Richard (Micky) White
It is the policy of the Lilburn Police Department to recognize an individual act or a combination of acts which occurred throughout the quarter.
2014 Discover Law Enforcement Member of the Year South East Region: Investigator Bert Ross Investigator Ross led a multi-jurisdictional investigation that led to arrests in a pump and dump scheme. He was recognized by Discover credit card company for his accomplishments.
Employees are awarded for their time of service to the city.
5 YEARSCody Belcher,Police Investigator
Julio Echevarria, Police OfficerRalph Mathis, Street Maintenance Worker
Sheila McGaughey, Director of FinanceBrian McGann, Police Sergeant
Sabrina Thornton, Police Investigator
10 YEARSScott Batterton, Councilman
Dimas Buendia, Street Maintenance WorkerTim Dunn, Councilman
Kathleen Rault, Clerk of Municipal Court
20 YEARSRob Worley, Police Lieutenant
Jeff Kinney, Police Officer
35 YEARSTerry Stults, Court Clerk