Incoming Detective Named 2020 Yelm Officer of the Year

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Patrol officer Anthony Sparkuhl has been named the Yelm Police Department’s 2020 Officer of the Year. 

The four-year YPD vet was honored by city staff, the department and city council at a meeting Tuesday, March 9. He was honored with a plaque as an acknowledgement of his tireless work ethic and professionalism. 

Sparkuhl was also recently named as Yelm’s new detective, replacing retiring Det. Bill DeVore this July. 

“In 2020, Anthony was our most productive officer and was responsible for being involved in more service calls than any other officers in the department. Anthony serves as an excellent example of what a Yelm police officer represents, and serves the citizens of Yelm in a professional, courteous, and friendly manner,” said Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil. 

Sparkuhl was hired by the department in September 2017. Prior to coming to Yelm, he was an officer with the Nisqually Indian Tribe and a corrections officer at Nisqually Jail. 

He also has deep roots in Thurston County. Sparkuhl served as a community service officer in the city of Lacey and is a 2009 graduate of Timberline High School. 

Sparkuhl lives with his wife and 4-year-old son in Olympia. 

“I would just like to thank everybody for the opportunity to work here and giving me a chance to show you guys what we can do,” Sparkuhl said. “We really enjoy the continued support from the council and the mayor, and we’d like to keep that going. Thank you for this honor. It’s much appreciated.” 

The Yelm Police Department first started recognizing officers with the Officer of the Year award in 2011. 

“Truly, you have set the bar pretty high for next year, and we appreciate all you do for us, and for our police family, and for your own family,” Yelm Mayor JW Foster said. 

 

Yelm Native Named 2020 Public Works Employee of the Year

Brad Chatwood, a water plant operator for the city of Yelm, was named the 2020 Public Works Employee of the Year. He also received accolades at last Tuesday’s city council meeting. 

Hired by the Public Works Department in 2018, Chatwood was honored with the distinction by a department-wide vote. Back in June, he was named the department’s employee of the month. 

“Brad is the driving force behind much of the success of the water department and will be the primary reason we will be able to successfully run the splash pad this year,” the city wrote in a recent Facebook post. “His amazing commitment and dedication to always improving himself is why he will soon also have a Wastewater Operator License to allow him to be a CSWO (certified storm water operator) which is a huge achievement and sets the standards for other water operators.”

Chatwood is also a 1996 graduate of Yelm High School. In addition to his acknowledgement and plaque, he will be the first recipient of a special department coin, Public Works Director Cody Colt said. 

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