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  News
Novi honors best of the best at awards ceremony
Published: 3/6/2020

On Thursday, March 5, the Novi Police and Fire Departments held their Annual Awards Ceremony to celebrate accomplishments and recognize professional development achievements of those who protect and serve the community.  During the ceremony both departments recognized the Firefighter of the Year, Police Department Civilian Employee of the Year, Police Officer of the Year, and Public Safety Volunteer of the Year.
 
Firefighter of the Year – Gregory Lis 
Firefighter Gregory Lis joined the Novi Fire Department on March 10, 2007. He has always projected a positive image for the Novi Fire Department throughout his career and is the embodiment of the enthusiasm required to be a firefighter.

Lis has become an active member within the fire department by recommending improvements for life safety not only within the department but also for our citizens, championing numerous endeavors. Seeing a need with the number of child car seat checks we receive daily, Greg stepped up to assist us and obtained his technician certification through the Safe Kids Organization. In the fall of 2019, Greg took it upon himself to contact the Safe Kids Organization and organized during one of our monthly events an opportunity for the organization to come out and sign off on the renewal of not only members of the Novi Fire Department, but also Northville. Lis,-G-Novi-Fire_4895-(2).jpg 

Right away, you could tell that Lis possessed a unique quality. Although shy and reserved, he has a knack for analyzing things. He always challenges the notion “is there a better and more efficient way.” During his time with the Novi Fire Department, he has exhibited an internal quality to encourage others to do their very best on whatever endeavor they select. A person that is not going to wait for things to happen, Greg is a catalyst to accomplish any goal. 

During his career, Lis has worked with numerous probationary members to provide opportunities to grow and gain confidence in the necessary skills of the job. He fosters a positive learning environment that provides firsthand knowledge from his own experiences. 

When you ask his co-workers to describe him you consistently hear: dedicated, respectful, enthusiastic, positive, dependable, caring, skillful and modest. He 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, the Police and Fire Benevolent and Novi’s Goodfellows events. 

Lis has received a Life Saving Award in 2018, awarded the Novi Public Safety Employee of the Month in January 2016, and numerous Thank You’s, one in particular for his professionalism and compassion during a Motor Vehicle Accident on M-5.

Police Civilian of the Year – Performance Measurement Analyst Yuliya Harris Harris-Yuliya.jpg
Yuliya Harris joined the Public Safety Executive team on June 11, 2018. She has embodied everything the Novi Police Department stands for including building partnerships and public trust at every opportunity.

Believing in being a lifelong learner, Harris graduated from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Women’s Leadership Institute as well as the Women’s Municipal Leadership program, and is a certified crime analyst through the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts.

She has a unique ability to collect, conceptualize, analyze, interpret and prepare data in order to evaluate police and fire operations and our problem solving efforts on a daily basis.

One of her core responsibilities is to assist investigators with criminal intelligence by linking regional criminal cases to events in Novi. She creates intelligence bulletins that are shared with our law enforcement partners, both locally and on the federal level, to assist in the identification of suspects and suppression of crime. She is also extremely proactive with our retail fraud community and hosts intelligence sharing meetings allowing different retailers to compare case notes and suspect information. 

One of Harris’ early goals was to restructure our computer comparison statistics or COMPSTAT initiative. COMPSTAT is an integral component of our internal information sharing that is used to make timely and informed decisions on crime trends, accident locations, and fire prevention. She made the content more dynamic and relevant to the daily operations for our public safety team. She also created and implemented real-time police and fire dashboards on the city’s eWeb, making timely statistics available 24/7 for our staff to make informed decisions on resource deployment with regards to crime trends, accidents, fire prevention, and response times. 

She helped coordinate the creation and implementation of our “pink police car” along with Sgt. Amanda Kulikowski , which was debuted at the Susan G Komen 3-day walk in August. The car was created to raise breast cancer awareness and for people to sign it throughout the month of October with the name of a loved one or a wish for someone who has been impacted by breast cancer.  Proceeds went to benefit the Ascension Providence Hospital Believe in Miracles Fund.

Harris truly embraces an opportunity to seek additional ways to communicate with the public and takes it upon herself to satisfy her job description line of “other duties as assigned.” She has truly carved a completely new path of a Performance Analyst position. In all of her assignments she embraces going above and beyond, going the extra mile, and always excited to help.

Lee C. Begole Police Officer of the Year – Detective Jonathan Zabick Zabick,-JNovi-Police_5026.jpg
Detective Jonathan Zabick joined the Novi Police Department on February 17, 2003, after serving nearly nine years with Wayne State University.  Zabick served in uniform operations until 2012, when he was re-assigned to his current role as the School Resource Officer in Novi High School. 
 
As the School Resource Officer, he took on a new commitment, a commitment to ensure the schools in Novi are safe learning environments for our kids. He has never wavered from that commitment.
 
In 2015, Zabick expanded his role as an A.L.I.C.E. instructor.  A.L.I.C.E., an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate goes beyond lockdown methods by providing individuals with a new set of skills that will greatly increase their odds of survival during an active shooter situation. A.L.I.C.E. empowers individuals to participate in their own survival.  Zabick has made it his mission since 2016 for every teacher in the Novi School District as well as the teachers at Detroit Catholic Central, and the Novi Christian Academy to be trained in the A.L.I.C.E. model.
 
The Novi School District is a recognized leader in Oakland County for the A.L.IC.E. program, and the Walled Lake School District asked Zabick to be part of their initiative, guiding them through the A.L.I.C.E protocol.
 
During 2019, Zabick led the way with significant changes making Novi High School, and the District safer for all. Over this past summer Zabick organized tours of the High School, Detroit Catholic Central, and Novi Christian Academy for all first responders in Novi. The purpose was to orient them to the facilities, as well as learning building terminology that will be used by staff communicating a crisis event. This initiative will give responders the ability to coordinate more timely and efficient responses to emergencies in these locations.
 
In an effort to increase police presence in the Novi High School, Zabick partnered with school officials to locate a new SRO office with a direct view of the cafeteria area. This initiative will benefit the community and enhances police presence in and around the High School. It is a first of its kind and is a visible statement to students and visitors that we take the safety of our schools very seriously.
 
Another safety initiative in 2019 was to get first responders proximity card access to all Novi schools. This initiative was completed by April and allows Novi first responders the ability to access any proximity door at any school in the event of an emergency.
 
An emergency response plan is only as good as its practice. Zabick coordinated an active shooter full-scale exercise with the high school. This event simulated an active shooter event, where the High School A.L.I.C.E. and crisis communication protocols were put to test under the stresses of a simulated violent attack. This initiative was useful in demonstrating areas of improvement for both the school and public safety, as well as an encouraging step for school officials to see their progress on preparation, planning, and A.L.I.C.E. training.
 
After the full scale exercise, Zabick has worked diligently with Principal Nicole Carter to get Stop The Bleed Kits for each classroom. The District has been waiting for potential bond funds before making this commitment for the entire District. Principal Carter is fully committed and purchased 15 kits out of her own budget. Although waiting to hear, Zabick pursued a State Farm corporate grant to fund the Stop the Bleed Kit initiative.
 
This past fall, the Novi School District revamped their radio system. Pursuant to getting funds awarded for a Michigan school safety grant, the district purchased digital UHF radios that allowing buildings to communicate on a central crisis channel. Zabick secured three of the radios giving the police department the ability to join the communication chain directly in the event of an active event at one of the schools.
 
Zabick has made it his passion to blend his educational background with safety and security in places of worship. On September 7, 2019, he took the lead on organizing and planning the Houses of Worship Seminar where nearly 150 individuals, representing dozens of regional faith communities gathered for a seminar on safety and security in places of worship.
 
The presentation focused on theological and ecclesiological considerations for safety and security in the faith based environment, target hardening for “soft targets”, and A.L.I.C.E options based responses to active violence. The program was recognized by The Crime Prevention Association of Michigan, stating the presentations were “innovative, professional, and unique." The organization also awarded Zabick and Sgt. Bob Manar the Outstanding Special Project Award for 2019 for their program.
 
During the summer months Zabick is assigned general case work and coordinates the Police and Fire Youth Leadership Academy. This program is designed for high school students, teaching them leadership skills, challenging their physical abilities, and showing them the behind the scenes of public safety operations.  The Program has seen over 500 students graduate with valuable like skills, and potential pursuit of law enforcement careers.
 
Zabick has grown into a trusted leader within the Novi Police Department, the Novi Community Schools and surrounding districts.
 
Volunteer of the Year – Daniel Doss IMG_4943-(2).JPG
Resident Dan Doss joined the Novi Community Emergency Response Team in 2007.  Doss has maintained a steady commitment to our city year after year and has never broken his promise to serve as a volunteer. It’s worth noting he was still employed full-time when he joined CERT and made the transition to our Volunteers in Public Service team in 2016.
 
Doss has committed over 500 hours of volunteer service to the CERT program including; leadership meetings, classroom instruction, CERT activation, and performing numinous assignments for the program. His latest project for CERT was overseeing a roof top antenna installation for our CERT radios, ensuring community wide communication for the CERT team during activation. 
 
When he is not volunteering his time with the CERT team, he is committed to his second volunteer job with our VIPS team. He has dedicated over 750 hours to patrolling our parks, subdivision, handicap parking enforcement, and home checks.

Novi Emergency Manager Marshall Johnson says this about Doss, “Dan Doss is my right arm when it comes to delegating assignments, taking a leadership role in program, development our new recruits, and simply leading others. The unique thing about Dan’s attitude is he never refuses a request from me!  He never complains and is always ready and able to step-up and volunteer for any assignment that comes his way. This program would not be able to reach the heights expected without volunteers like Dan Doss.”
 
Dan’s character is defined by reputation, commitment and dedication to service; he is an exemplary individual, one of the best amongst his peers!  What really stand outs out about Dan, are his personality traits. He always displays a pattern of behavior, temperament and emotion that separates him from other volunteers. 
 
Novi Police Department:

Life Saving: 

Officer Jason Bergtold
Officer Eric Tobey
Officer Michael Daisley
Officer Alex Marchione
Officer Baha Almufti
Officer Scott Woodley
Sergeant Bob Manar
                                                                       
Advanced Degree:  
Sergeant Bob Manar (Masters)
Detective Jonathon Zabick (Masters)
                                                                                                           
Staff and Command:         
Sergeant Amanda Kulikowski
 
Merit Citation:   
Sergeant Rachel Meier
Officer Andrew Hudechek
Officer Steven Snell
Officer Eric Carlomusto
Officer Stacey Simon
Officer Jacob Roberts
Dispatcher Karen Assaf
Dispatcher Christina Vickstrom
Officer Alisa Harwell
Detective Jonathan Zabick
Officer Joshua Johnson
                                                                                                                                                           
Letter of Commendation: 
Dispatcher Karen Assaf
Dispatcher Janet Kaplan
Detective Steven Balog
Detective Eric Lindblade
Officer Brandon Bidus (2)
Detective Michael Bender
Cadet John Reid
                                               
Unit Citation:
Officer Joshua Russell
Officer Stacey Simon
Officer Alisa Harwell
Officer Alex Marchione
Officer Kyle Smith
Officer Andrew Toth
Detective Jeremy Stempien
Officer Tony Avant
Officer Michael Daisley
Officer Jacob Roberts
Officer Christopher Clark
Sergeant Jason Meier
Sergeant Rachel Meier
Detective Steven Balog (2)
Officer Jason Bergtold
Officer Michael Walton
Officer Deanna Stevenson
Sergeant Adam Elsen
Officer Andrew Hudechek
Officer Jonathan Schneemann (South Lyon Police Department)
Dispatcher Kim White
Dispatcher Karen Assaf
 
Individual Achievement:
Sergeant Brian Woloski
 
Novi Fire Department:
 
Life Saving: 
Captain Mark Theisen
Auxiliary Fire Fighter Steven Behan
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Brian Egan
Auxiliary Fire Fighter Chris Bageris
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter William Litzinger
Captain Todd Seog
Auxiliary Fire Fighter Joe Eberline
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Michelle Koons
Lieutenant Maria Reisner
Lieutenant Mark Pehrson
Fire Protection Officer Zahi Kassab
Fire Protection Officer Patrick Deneau
 
Unit Citation:
Captain Remo Oliverio
Lieutenant Matthew Tunnard
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Tabitha Tejero
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Dennis Barratt
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Amir Farahani
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Ian Patterson
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Jose Villanueva
Lieutenant Joshua Bunse
                                               
Letter of Commendation: 
Paid-on-call Fire Fighter Dennis Barratt
                                               
Civilian Citation:
Officer Corey Donberger (Bloomfield Twp Police Department)
Paramedic Preston Drewitz
EMT Kelly Onsersma (2)
Paramedic Kristen Thompson
Paramedic Jessica Zellar
Paramedic Kim Fujiwana
Paramedic Jeffrey George
EMT Trish Anderson
 
Civilian Commendation:
Rhonda Smith
Grace Oin
 
Staff and Command: 
Captain Charles Roberts
                                                                       
Advanced Degree: 
Captain Phil Duczyminski (Masters)         
Auxiliary Fire Fighter Matthew Perchman (Bachelors)
 
National Fire Academy: 
Fire Marshal Kevin Pierce

For more information on the Novi Police and Fire Departments, visit cityofnovi.org.