by CYNTHIA KMETT
“Police Memorial Day is about honoring officers that made the ultimate sacrifice for our community by giving their lives as well as recognizing the bravery and selflessness demonstrated by current officers,” Troy Police Chief Frank Nastasi reminded everyone at the Thursday morning Memorial Service in front of the Police Station. “It is my privilege to work with officers that go above and beyond on a daily basis to make Troy a great place.”
It’s a time to recall officers who have given their life serving Troy citizens.
Troy has lost three officers over the years. Officer Charles E. Smetana was 33 when he died on December 11, 1969. While responding to a personal injury accident, he was involved in a crash. Officer Martin Chivas, 24, was killed on April 22, 1974. During the investigation of a robbery in progress, he was shot and killed by the burglars. The suspects were prison escapees on a multi-state crime spree. Officer Charles Mulvihill died while serving the citizens of Troy on September 11, 2001. He was responding to a call for service when he suffered apparent heart failure.
Their sacrifice and courage will always be remembered, Chief Nastasi told the gathering. He praised all police officers for staying strong despite the obstacles these officers face today. “I am proud of these officers,” he observed.
After the Memorial Service, everyone was invited to the annual awards ceremony at the San Marino Club. This year, a Fraud Investigator, Community Outreach Sergeant, and Service Aide were selected for awards.
Troy Police Select Detective Todd Gustke as Officer of the Year
Troy’s Police Officer of the Year is 24-year agency veteran Detective Todd Gustke. Todd is an accomplished detective currently assigned to the Southeast Michigan Financial Crimes Task Force, a Secret Service run group of federal and local investigators. Todd’s exceptional skill and hard work resulted in the positive resolution of two major fraud cases in 2018.
Todd successfully completed an investigation of an $18.2 million criminal operation which was buying selling fraudulently obtained gift card cards and prepaid credit cards last year. Also in 2018, Todd’s investigation of an ATM-skimming group acting in Troy, Royal Oak, and surrounding areas led to an arrest of the ringleader.
Todd has served in various investigative capacities while employed at Troy PD and has developed a reputation in the region as a skilled fraud investigator.
He says his job is exciting, and he likes following all the clues and putting all the pieces together to solve the case. He has received numerous prior awards including a certificate of recognition from FBI Director Robert Mueller for outstanding contribution to the Detroit Metro Identity Fraud Task Force. Todd also received the prestigious Sir Robert Peel Award from the University of Detroit- Mercy for excellence in the Security Administration graduate program.
Todd’s supervisors nominated him for Officer of the Year because of his character as well as his skill. Todd is known for his professional attitude, diligence, commitment, and strong work ethic.
Troy Police Select Sergeant Meghan Lehman as Command Officer of the Year
Sergeant Meghan Lehman is Troy’s Command Officer of the Year. Meghan serves in the agency’s Community Services Section, guiding community relations, social media, and media relations efforts.
In 2018, Meghan grew the agency’s social media presence significantly, using social media to increase community connection and rapidly release emergency information.
Under Meghan’s supervision, the Community Services Section delivered 157 community programs, attended by more than 28,000 people in 2018. These programs include things like the Halloween Safety Bash, Pawfficer Donut’s “Pawsitivity” Program, and many others.
Meghan has been with the agency for 15 years and previously served in the Juvenile Unit as an investigator and also as the School Resource Officer at Troy High School. Meghan was the Officer of the Year in 2010 for her investigative work on juvenile cases. She finds her current role as a Public Information Officer allows her to combine her skills and interests together.
Troy Police Select Service Aide Peter Guest as Non-Sworn Employee of the Year
Police Service Aide Peter Guest is Troy’s Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. Peter is being recognized for his contributions to drunk driving cases through Breathalyzer administration, documentation and courtroom testimony, as well as his outstanding work ethic. Peter has administered hundreds of Breathalyzer exams in his career and has subsequently testified in many drunk driving cases.
Through his professionalism, knowledge and meticulous reports, Peter has contributed to numerous cases.
Peter is currently a lockup training officer, training new hires in agency policy and procedure. In 2018, Peter trained three new lockup employees. Peter’s supervisor reports that he is an exceptional trainer, demonstrating unquestionable integrity. Peter joined the Troy Police Department in 2006 after 20 years in sales related positions. He is a graduate of Groves High School and Oakland Community College.