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Novi Public Safety Recognizes Staff at Annual Award Banquet
Published: 5/14/2024
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On May 8th, the Novi Police and Fire Departments held their Annual Awards Banquet to celebrate accomplishments and recognize professional achievements of those who serve to protect the community.

“It is an honor to be able to recognize the dedication and accomplishments of the men and women of the Novi Public Safety Team,” notes Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Erick W. Zinser. “Our teams work tirelessly, day in and day out, to protect the citizens of this great community. They don’t do it for awards or medals, but rather because they each have a calling to serve and to protect. This our way as an administration, and as a community, to simply say thank you for all that you do.”

The City of Novi congratulates all who received recognition.

A list of recipients follows:

Merit Citation
School Resource Officer Julie Warren
School Resource Officer Sarah Moulik

Life Saving Award
Police Officer Matthew Ryan
Police Officer Andrew Toth
Police Officer Justin Szalai
Police Officer Baha Almufti
Police Officer Sam Thibault
Police Officer Deanna Stevenson
Police Detective Eric Carlomusto
Police Sergeant Joshua Johnson
Police Sergeant Akthar Hossain
Police Sergeant Ayren Edgar
Police Sergeant Kyle Smith
Fire Protection Officer Victor Cox
Fire Protection Officer Daniel Schulkey
Fire Protection Officer Steven Behan
Fire Protection Officer Majd Kouda
Fire Protection Officer Connor Johnson
Fire Protection Officer Nathan Ryan
Fire Protection Officer Andrew Copeland
Fire Protection Officer Zahi Kassab
Fire Lieutenant Peter Breuhan
Fire Captain Mark Theisen Assistant
Fire Chief Todd Seog

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) Award
Police Officer Adam McGee

Community Policing Award
Police Officer Allan Hashim

Advanced Education Degree
Police Commander Jason Meier (Masters in Public Administration)

Police Staff and Command Award
Police Sergeant Daniel Jenkinson
Police Detective Sergeant Steven Snell

National Fire Academy Award
Fire Captain Mark Theisen

Public Safety Volunteer of the Year
Nancy Lee

Nancy Lee’s extensive career in public service is marked by dedication, compassion, and unwavering commitment. Having served the 18th District Court as a distinguished court reporter for twenty-eight years, Nancy’s expertise and integrity were so valued that she was invited back shortly after her retirement. Transitioning to life in Novi, her desire to contribute to the community remained strong, leading her to join the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and later expanding her volunteerism to include the Volunteers in Public Safety (VIPS) Team.

Since 2015, Nancy has been an invaluable asset to the Novi Police Department, initially engaging with CERT before dedicating herself more fully to the VIPS program. Nancy’s involvement with VIPS has been characterized by her natural leadership, her ability to inspire fellow volunteers, and her exceptional dedication to service above and beyond the required commitments.

Beyond her regular volunteer work, Nancy has played a significant role in the Novi Police Department’s Pink Police Car initiative, a campaign supporting the Assarian Cancer Center at Ascension Providence Hospital, and their Believe in Miracles fund. Since the program’s inception in 2018, Nancy has braved all weather conditions to volunteer at numerous fundraising events, contributing to the collection of over twelve thousand dollars in donations last year alone.

Nancy’s love for the Novi community is evident in her tireless efforts and enthusiastic participation in various initiatives. Her work not only exemplifies the vision of the Novi Police Department, “Partners with Our Community,” but also serves as a beacon of unselfishness and community spirit. Nancy Lee’s contributions are a testament to her profound impact on the community and an inspiration to all who have the privilege of working alongside her.

Public Safety Civilian Employee of the Year
Public Safety Records Specialist Kim Kleimola

Since joining the Novi Police Department in November 2016, Records Clerk Kim Kleimola has established herself as an exemplary employee, known for her diligence and readiness to embrace new responsibilities. As the primary custodian for video archiving and redaction, Kim has efficiently managed the daily influx of FOIA requests for police dashcam footage and prepared this critical evidence for court proceedings. Her exceptional professionalism and meticulous attention to detail have earned her acclaim from both department personnel and prosecutors’ offices.

However, it is Kim’s contributions beyond her routine duties that underscore her nomination for Civilian Employee of the Year. Her commitment to community service is exemplary, consistently volunteering her time and effort to support Department initiatives such as the Stuff a Squad Car and Palooza events.

A notable highlight of Kim’s service is her passionate involvement in the Novi Police Department’s breast cancer awareness and fundraising efforts. As a breast cancer survivor herself, Kim was instrumental in evolving the annual pink patrol car campaign into a significant community outreach and fundraising endeavor. Starting in 2018, under her leadership, the initiative expanded to collect donations for cancer survivors and their families, with contributors signing the pink car in honor or memory of loved ones.

Kim’s diligent research identified the Ascension Hospital’s Believe in Miracles Fund as the beneficiary of these efforts, a choice that ensures financial support for families burdened by cancer-related expenses. Her dedication to this cause has seen the pink car initiative flourish into a regional success story, setting a precedent for similar programs throughout the area.

This year’s achievement culminated in a donation of $12,000 to the Believe in Miracles Fund, a testament to the initiative’s growth and impact. Kim’s efforts not only brought recognition to the cause but also deeply moved the staff at the Assarian Cancer Center.

For her unwavering dedication to her work, her extraordinary generosity, and her profound impact on the community, it is with great honor that we name Records Clerk Kim Kleimola as the 2023 Novi Police Department Civilian of the Year.

Firefighter of the Year
Fire Protection Officer Daniel Schulkey

Dan Schulkey began his career in the fire service when he joined the Novi Fire Department as a Paid-On-Call Firefighter in 2014. Accepting every opportunity that came his way, Dan immersed himself in the Novi Fire Department and when the opportunity presented itself, Dan accepted the challenge and on August 29th, 2016, Dan received a promotion as a full-time Fire Protection Officer.

During Dan’s time with the Novi Fire Department, he has exhibited an internal quality that encourages others to do their very best in whatever endeavor they choose. Dan is someone who does not wait for things to happen. This most likely comes from his background as an accomplished 3rd Degree Black Belt in Koei Kan Karate with the philosophy encouraging the individual to find success and fulfillment.

In 2017 Dan completed his National Fire Protection Inspector I certification. In 2019 he obtained his NFPA Inspector II certification and in 2021 Dan completed and obtained his NFPA Plans Examiner certification. This knowledge makes Dan such an asset not only to the department but the residents, business owners and those who visit Novi.

Dan’s positive can do attitude radiates from him. Anyone who works with him will tell you the same. Always helping wherever he can, Dan has never backed down from any task or assignment that he is given, taking pride in his job. Dan worked directly with Capt. Duczyminski on our department’s Health & Wellness initiative. With a background as a personal fitness trainer, Dan researched and recommended specific equipment necessary to improve cardiovascular and strength training, vital to our job.

Over the years Dan accepted the challenge as a mentor. Providing opportunities for new members to grow and gain confidence in the necessary skills of the job. Working one-on-one to ensure that each probationary member can meet the department’s performance standards. Dan fosters a positive learning environment that provides firsthand knowledge from his own experience.

Dan has also devoted his own time to improve the quality of life for those in the community by participating in the annual Shop with a Hero, Addicted to Movies Not Drugs, and the Police & Fire Benevolent events. During his time with the department Dan has received five (5) Life Saving Awards, two (2) Unit Citations, and was awarded the Novi Public Safety Employee of the Month in January 2021.

For all his accomplishments, it is my honor and privilege to recognize Fire Protection Officer Dan Schulkey as our 2023 Novi Fire Department Firefighter of the Year and thank him for his continued dedication to the safety of our community.

Lee C. BeGole Police Officer of the Year
Police Officer Brian Tillman

Officer Brian Tillman has embodied the epitome of excellence and dedication within the Novi Police Department since his tenure began in April 2002. His outstanding work ethic, coupled with a commendable willingness to undertake new challenges, has set a high standard for professional conduct and service.

In 2023, Officer Tillman demonstrated exceptional initiative by spearheading the acquisition and implementation of a pepper ball gun system, a new addition to the department’s arsenal. This initiative required Officer Tillman to not only undergo specialized training but also to develop and instruct a comprehensive training program for department personnel, highlighting his dedication to enhancing operational effectiveness while balancing his duties as a uniformed operations officer.

Officer Tillman’s proactive approach extends beyond his assigned tasks, evident in his active engagement during patrols. His commitment to addressing community concerns, assisting colleagues, and ensuring public safety was notably demonstrated on January 9, 2023. When a volatile situation escalated during an investigation, Officer Tillman’s decisive actions ensured the safety of all involved parties without injury.

On August 31, 2023, Officer Tillman’s quick thinking and application of emergency medical intervention saved a life by administering Naloxone during a critical overdose incident.

Moreover, Officer Tillman has significantly contributed to the advancement of the Department’s Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) program. Through specialized training and leadership, he has not only enhanced operational capabilities but also ensured the program’s sustainability by maintaining and updating the sUAS fleet, exemplifying his forward-thinking approach to law enforcement technology and tactics. Officer Tillman’s expertise extends into tactical training for dynamic building entries, leveraging his extensive experience as a Special Response Team operator, commonly known as SWAT, to elevate the proficiency of Novi officers in critical response scenarios. His involvement in community and departmental initiatives, such as the Stuff a Squad Car event and the Michigan State Fair detail, along with his compassionate conduct during sensitive investigations, has earned him widespread recognition and appreciation.

The accumulation of accolades throughout Officer Tillman’s career, including multiple Employee of the Month awards, unit citations, merit citations, and life-saving awards, attests to his exemplary service and commitment. His participation in specialized training, such as crisis intervention, further demonstrates his holistic approach to law enforcement, balancing assertive action with empathy and communication.

Officer Tillman’s professional demeanor, integrity, and unwavering commitment to duty have not only garnered respect from peers and the community but have also significantly contributed to the Novi Police Department’s mission. His ability to maintain calm in challenging situations, coupled with his dedication to personal and professional excellence, sets an example for all.

It is with great pride and admiration that we recognize Officer Brian Tillman as the Lee C. Begole Police Officer of the Year for 2023. His distinguished service, leadership, and contributions reflect the highest ideals of law enforcement and public service.

The Novi Public Safety Team would like to thank the HUB Stadium and Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk for your generosity in hosting our awards banquet.