Wilmington PD honors officers for service

RECOGNIZED FOR BRAVERY in apprehending a suspect who had fled from police in 2020 is Deputy Chief Adam Zink. Zink was one of five officers awarded commendations earlier this month. Photo provided.

Marney Simon

Five members of the Wilmington Police Department have earned special recognition, thanks to their depth of work and bravery serving the people of Wilmington.

Wilmington Police Chief Joe Mitchell presented commendations to officers earlier this month. The medal of commendation is awarded to officers and employees of the Wilmington Police Department for commendable acts such as handling difficult situations during their duties, bravery, outstanding performance, or any action that is above and beyond typical duties.

In April, Officers Jose Campos and Karl Jurgens responded to a domestic battery in progress call that involved a firearm. The caller was a juvenile who was hiding in a closet with a younger sibling, and told the officers that his mother’s boyfriend had pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her.

Following a brief standoff, the suspect finally surrendered without further incident.

“Under these volatile and highly dangerous circumstances, Officers Campos and Jurgens were able to establish communication, effectively neutralize the situation, take the male into custody, retrieve the loaded firearm, and return the female and her children to safety,” Chief Mitchell said.

Campos and Jurgens were each awarded a medal of commendation for superior handling of the high stress situation that resulted in the removal of the offender without injuries to anyone involved.

Recognition was also given to Sgt. Kristopher Hopper and Officer Jacob Schwartz.

In May, following a traffic stop for illegal cell phone use, Schwartz was able to secure permission to search the vehicle, where illegal narcotics were discovered.

“At the station during the interview process orchestrated by Sgt. Hopper, the offender provided critical information on the whereabouts of a now-deceased missing person,” Mitchell said. “This information was forwarded to the appropriate agency, whereupon this evidence assisted in the discovery of a deceased male… in a nearby community.”

Hopper and Schwartz were awarded the medal of commendation for exceptional work in looking beyond a traffic stop and helping discover evidence in a crime in a neighboring community, and bringing closure to the victim’s family.

A final award was given to Deputy Chief Adam Zink for his response to a call in May 2020.

Zink responded at the time to an early morning report of an aggravated carjacking with the suspects reported to be on I-55 near Wilmington. That vehicle crashed near Blodgett Road, and the offended fled on foot. After a grid search, the offender was reported to be in the vicinity of the Harborside Marina.

“Sgt. Adam Zink responded to that area, performed a methodical search of the entire marina, and Sgt. Zink located the offender hiding in the bottom of a boat, and took the offender into custody without further incident,” Mitchell said. “Deputy Chief Zink is awarded the medal of commendation for his courage and dedication to the Wilmington community by placing himself at great risk to locate and arrest a dangerous and violent offender.”

The awards were presented during the Sept. 6 regular meeting of the Wilmington City Council.