The safest place in South County Sunday night was Genesis Banquet Center when more than 300 people came out to honor the St. Louis County Police officers of the South County and Affton Precincts.
The Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAAA) hosted the third Officer of the Year Banquet and selected Officer Shoni Brevik as the 2011 Officer of the Year.
“I feel blessed and very honored,” Brevik said. “I did not see it coming. There are so many other good officers out there, so I just feel happy.”
Brevik is a 10-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department and has served in the Affton and West County Precincts and as a school resource officer in the Lindbergh and Mehlville School Districts.
She’s currently an officer in the Village of Marlborough and was selected for the Officer of the Year award for her help in catching a heroin dealer responsible for multiple deaths in South County.
“She is one of the most humble people you ever want to meet. She’s got a fantastic sense of humor, but when she comes to work, she gets it done,” said Capt. Michael Dierkes with the Affton Precinct.
Brevik decided to become a police officer after working as a Child Abuse Investigator for the Division of Family Services.
“We feel it’s important for the everyday officer to know they have support,” said Janis McCracken, the president of the CPAAA. “They come to work no matter what. They go from dealing with a hurt child to a bank robbery in a heartbeat.”
The purpose of the CPAAA is to increase public support of the St. Louis County Police Department and improve education and relations between officers and the community.
The members of the organization have gone through the , a course open to the public that teachers citizens about the different aspects of police life.
The alumni association began 10 years ago when now St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch suggested the group as a way to stay involved with the department after going through the class.
The South County Chapter of the CPAAA is the largest in the county and have become an asset to the police department, said Lt. Col. Terry Roberds.
The organization selects an officer from each precinct for every quarter, and then through an interview process, chooses one a year for the Officer of the Year. Brevik received $1,500 and a year’s worth of movie passes to Wehrenburg Theaters, among other prizes.
Each of the other seven officers that were nominated received $300 and movie passes. They earned officer of the quarter honors for busting meth labs, arresting drug dealers and saving victims’ lives.
“It’s their work day in and day out, the constant level of performance of them that makes them really stand out,” Dierkes said.
Sen. Jim Lembke, Rep. Scott Sifton and St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger all issued proclamations for Brevik.