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A state trooper who never got his boss to a promised lunch, a Fletcher officer who works in his spare time on a program to help children with autism, a sheriff's sergeant who volunteers as a middle school track coach, a Laurel Park officer and top bicycle racer who teaches bike safety and a two-time Hendersonville Police Department officer of the year were honored last week by the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club.
Started in 1996 and named for a longtime Kiwanis Club member and civic leader, the Morris Kaplan Caring and Sharing Award goes to officers who demonstrate professionalism in uniform and a caring way on and off duty.
During last week's awards event, Highway Patrol First Sgt. D.R. Christiansen told of how, when he got promoted to head Troop G, Trooper Anthony Hill invited him to take a ride.
"He leads by example not only with his fellow officers but in the community," Christiansen said. "He said, 'Come on, you need to know this stuff.'"
On the way to lunch, dispatchers called out a wreck, which Trooper Hill responded to, and then a second wreck. Finally free of accident investigations, he pulled behind a car, which was swerving on the highway. He stopped the driver and made a DWI arrest. Hill never did get his boss to a restaurant. Sgt. Christiansen finally went on his own.
"I brought him back a Happy Meal," he said of the trooper.
For his dedication to putting the job first — even when his hungry boss was eager to eat — Hill was chosen from the local Highway Patrol command for the Morris Kaplan award.
Sheriff Charlie McDonald and local police chiefs Hubert Blake of Hendersonville, Erik Summey of Fletcher and Bobbie Trotter of Laurel Park shared similar stories of why the officers selected by their departments were not just good cops but good people who put family, church and community ahead of their own egos.
• Bruce Darrah has been a detective with the Hendersonville Police Department for six years. He and his wife, Lesley Albers Darrah, have a daughter Claire. The family attends Grace Lutheran Church and is active in the Mutual Ministry. Darrah, who has a bachelor's degree in criminal investigation and is a certified polygraph examiner, was HPD Officer of the Year in 2009 and 2011.
• David Anthony "Dave" Folsom is a patrol sergeant with Fletcher Police Department. A native of Oklahoma, Folsom started at the Fletcher Police Department in June 2006 after nine years with departments in Eastern North Carolina. He has more than 1,000 hours of law enforcement training and graduated from the Western North Carolina Leadership Academy in October 2012. Folsom and his wife, Jennifer, have three children, Cassie and DJ, and Jillian, who passed away in 2008. They attend Hendersonville First Baptist Church. Folsom volunteers for Project Lifesaver, an Autism Society of North Carolina program that provides funding and training for electronic tracking devices for children with autism that are at risk of wandering off from their care givers.
• Ricky Dean Bishop has been a sergeant with the Henderson County Sheriff's Office for almost 24 years. He and his wife, Missy, have a daughter, Megan. Among his community activities are coaching track and cross country at Flat Rock Middle School. A graduate of East Henderson High School, he is an Air Force veteran. A DARE teacher since 1995 and a former officer of sheriff's department officer of the year, Bishop has more than 2,009 hours of law enforcement training.
• Anthony Hill, a master trooper with the State Highway Patrol has 22½ years of service. He and his wife, Sherri, have three children, Blake and twins Graham and Riley. He is active in the Mills River Community and volunteers at Rugby Middle School and West Henderson High School. A member of Mud Creek Baptist Church, he is a mentor for the Mud Creek Christian School and volunteers on and off duty.
• Andrew Griffin, a Laurel Park patrol officer for two years, actively promotes bicycle safety. He and his wife, Kassie, have a daughter, Isabell, and a son Liam. The family attends Grace Blue Ridge Church. Griffin is a semi-pro cyclist. He is a strong family man and enjoys work of any type. He is currently pursuing a criminal justice degree at BRCC.