Officer Jeffrey Gilliland
Officer Jeffrey Gilliland (Courtesy of Jeremy Mayer)

Officer Jeffrey Gilliland has only been with the York City Police Department for four years, but in that short time he's developed close working relationships with city residents, tried to improve their quality of life and went after the bad guys, according to his supervisors.

And that's why the 28-year-old has been chosen York City's 2012 Officer of the Year.

"We're extremely proud of him and all the officers who are receiving awards today," city Capt. Ron Camacho said on Friday morning. "And the citizens of York should be proud, too."

Camacho described Gilliland as a hard worker and an all-around good person.

"He's a young officer who's extremely motivated, conscientious toward the citizens of York and has a bright career ahead of him," the captain said.

West end: For most of his four years with York City Police, Gilliland has been assigned to the city's west end, which Chief Wes Kahley said is the busiest and largest sector of the city for officers.

"He strives to make this area a better place for the residents to live," Kahley said. "He is not only familiar with the law-abiding citizens in this area, but he also knows most of the criminal element as well."

The numbers: In 2012, Gilliland made 43 criminal arrests, 22 of them for felony charges. He issued more than 100 traffic and non-traffic citations and served 85 warrants on 42 people, police said. It's the most arrests of any officer on his shift, police said.


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He also led his shift in the number of calls he responded to -- 1,277 -- and the number of reports taken, 172, police said.

Kahley said Gilliland has honed his investigative skills, which is part of the reason why he also was nominated for three chief's commendations.

He solved a burglary at Bob's News Stand and recovered the nearly $3,000 in cash and property stolen. His response to a loud-music call ended with the arrests of four people and the seizure of more than a pound of marijuana, $20,000 in property and $3,000 in cash, the chief said.

He also, with other officers, chased down and arrested two robbers in the 600 block of West Princess Street.

Sergeants honored: Sgt. Orazio Riccobono and Sgt. Troy Bankert were honored with awards of merit for their handling of a suicidal man in a York Hospital parking lot who told his wife he wanted to commit "suicide by cop," meaning force officers to shoot him.

"Sgt. Riccobono used his advanced negotiation skills to convince the (man) to stop walking," Kahley said. "Sgt. Bankert served as his cover man and maintained control of officers on the perimeter."

Riccobono spend about a half-hour speaking with the man and got through to the man.

"The suspect agreed to take (two) loaded guns out of his front pockets and lay them on the ground," Kahley said. The man was then committed to York Hospital for a mental-health evaluation.

Longtime detective: Detective First Class Jeff Spence, longtime homicide investigator, normally begins working a case after it's too late to save the victim.

But after getting information that two homicide suspects were planning an armed home-invasion robbery, Spence got proactive, according to police. That earned him an award of merit as well.

Spence gathered a team to run surveillance on the two men and stopped them before they were able to rob their target, Kahley said.

Initially, the suspects ran from Bantz Park into heavy vegetation along the Codorus Creek, but officers surrounded the area and had a K-9 officer locate them.

As the men ran, they tossed away a backpack, which officers recovered. Inside was the gun the two men allegedly used to kill Felipe Bernabe-Martinez during a botched carjacking May 28 outside the victim's home in the 600 block of East South Street.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.



The York City Police Department honored a number of police officers and citizens Friday morning at its annual awards ceremony. York City officers honored were:

Stephen Aderhold

Michael Adzema

Daniel Aikey

Ryan Anderson

Andy Baez

Troy Bankert*

Timothy Clymer*

Joseph Colahan*

Daniel Craven*

Chuck Crumpton

Michael Davis

Paul Dehart

Anthony Fetrow

Nicholas Figge

Jeremy Fultz*

Dustin Gehron*

Jeffrey Gilliland*

Clayton Glatfelter

Craig Goodwin

Nicholas Hansel

Sherri Hansen

Derek Hartman*

Jonathan Hatterer*

Allen Henty*

John Huncher

Matthew Irvin*

Jason Jay*

Brian Kirby*

Daniel Kling

James Knarr

Larry Lawrence

Daniel Lentz

Craig Losty

Edward Lowe

Christopher Martin

Jeremy Mayer

Black McBride

Michael Meeker*

Derrick Millhouse

Scott Nadzom

Zachary Pelton

Christopher Perry

Kyle Pitts*

Benjamin Praster

Michael Reinert*

John Reisenweber

Orazio Riccobono*

Andrew Riedy

George Ripley

Scott Ross

Michael Rykowski*

Gregory Schick

Barton Seelig

Andrew Shaffer

Benjamin Smith*

Travis Sowers

Jeffrey Spence

Jeremy Strathmeyer*

Matthew Tunall*

Tiffany Vogel*

William Wentz

* Denotes multiple award winners

Civilians honored were:

Danyiell Newman

Kenneth Brown

Mike and Cindy Reese

Awards for officers from outside police departments:

Bill Polizzotto Jr. and K-9 partner Petro, Springettsbury Township Police Department

Source: York City Police Department