Tim Butler Makes It a Trifecta as Officer of the Year

May 10, 2017
Supplied Photo

For the third time since the award was instituted in 2006, Harvey Cedars Patrolman Tim Butler was named “Officer of the Year” at an awards ceremony at the May 5 borough commission meeting.

Police Chief Robert Burnaford said the award is presented annually to the officer “who does an outstanding job in all aspects of his/her work.”

Over the course of 2016, the recipient assumed multiple different roles and responsibilities. Burnaford said that as traffic safety officer, Butler successfully secured four New Jersey Department of Highway Traffic Safety grants that enabled the department to conduct DWI, seatbelt law and distracted driving enforcement initiatives.

“He was also very involved with working to bring the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to Harvey Cedars to better promote safety on our roadways,” said Burnaford.

The chief said that as accreditation manager, Butler is responsible for the maintenance of the department’s certification of accreditation, which helps promote and enhance the highest ethical and professional standards in law enforcement at all levels.

Burnaford said Butler is also social media coordinator, in which he maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts and keeps the public up to date.

“All while doing this, Officer Butler continues to be proactive with his patrol duties as well as community policing,” he said.

Butler, who joined the department in 2012, said, “It was an honor to receive the ‘Officer of the Year’ award again. (He won it in 2013 and 2014). However, to me it is not about an individual, it’s about contributing to our team and helping us effectuate our motto, ‘Commitment to Excellence.’ We all do our part and serve our town on a daily basis.”

Patrolman Kevin Snow received a certificate of lifesaving. Burnaford said that on Sept. 25 at approximately 2:15 p.m., Snow responded to the 76th Street beach for a report of a swimmer in distress. He, along with a Harvey Cedars lifeguard who was patrolling in the area, entered the water and brought three swimmers back to shore. Two of the swimmers were cleared by the Barnegat Light First Aid Squad, while the other victim had ingested quite a bit of salt water and began vomiting blood. This victim was transported by ambulance to Southern Ocean Medical Center for further evaluation and was later released. 

“If it were not for Officer Snow’s quick action, the end result could have been very different,” said Burnaford, noting it was Snow’s second lifesaving award since joining the force in 2011. The Ocean County 200 club is also recognizing Snow for his actions at its awards event on June 9.

Patrolman Mat Chester received the “Drug Buster” award, which goes to an officer who has demonstrated the skills of getting illegal drugs off the streets.

“Officer Chester has contributed to well over half of the department’s narcotics arrests in 2016,” said Burnaford. “He has attended multiple training courses and has spent time learning from other narcotics officers from other departments.”

Chester was last year’s officer of the year recipient, and was the first to earn the honor as a special officer. Her was hired as a special officer in 2014 and became a full-fledged patrolman early last year.

— Eric Englund


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