From seeking information for wanted suspects through Crime Stoppers to helping the elderly Cpl. Deborah Whitley has found a number of ways to make a difference at the Columbus Police Department.
Her work in crime prevention earned Whitley the Officer of the Month honor for May.
It is the second award since 2011 for Whitley, who has more than 10 years with the department.
Working as a police officer requires a lot of heart, dedication and hard work, she said.
Other officers do special things every day and may not get recognized, but Whitley said she realized that her work was noted in a number of areas.
"When I receive an award, the feeling is wonderful," she said.
Police Sgt. Donald Bush, Whitley's supervisor, said she was instrumental in crime prevention.
She compiles information on wanted suspects and seeks information from residents to get them off the streets.
To help track some disabled people with Alzheimer's, the department has battery powered bracelets to locate them if they get lost. Whitley goes to the homes monthly and changes the batteries, Bush said.
"We are able to help them if they got a bracelet," he said.
And Whitley's name is always mentioned when groups are forming committees to tackle issues.
"A lot of people contacted her and wanted her on committees to get things done," Bush said.
Whitley, who was the oldest woman in her group when she went through the police academy, is proud of her accomplishments at the department.
She and other officers perform a number of duties to prevent crimes, help keep small children safe, organize watch groups to keep neighborhoods safe and others activities.
"Being recommended as the top officer for a month is quite an award, and I am certainly proud to have the award," she said.