Rotary Club recognizes top veterans, rookies
By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — The Salisbury Rotary Club recognized the top rookie and veteran law enforcement officers and emergency crew members Tuesday.
Each year, Rotary awards plaques to the rookie and veteran of the year from the Salisbury Police Department, Salisbury Fire Department, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Rowan County Emergency Services and N.C. Highway Patrol.
Recognized on Tuesday were:
• Annice Chunn, Salisbury Police Department’s Rookie of the Year.
Chunn graduated from Brinkley High School in Arkansas. She completed her Basic Law Enforcement Training in 2007 and subsequently joined the Salisbury Police Department.
“Even though she’s very good with dealing and interacting with individuals,” Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins said, “she’s also the type of person who’s not at all bashful about getting her hands dirty and doing what she has to on the street to deal with criminal violators.”
• Wiley Lamm, Salisbury Police Department Veteran of the Year.
Master Police Officer Lamm graduated from East Rowan High School in 1981, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He later earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from UNCC.
Tuesday’s award was Lamm’s fourth veteran of the year honor, more than any other officer in the history of the Salisbury Police Department. The award is given to officers who receive the most votes by their peers.
Lamm, a victim advocacy officer, began his law enforcement career at the East Spencer Police Department in 1989. He transferred to the Salisbury Police Department in 1993.
Lamm was a patrol officer for the department for most of his career before taking the victim advocacy role in 2009.
“Wiley just cares about people,” Collins said.
• Andrew Ebersold, Salisbury Fire Department Rookie of the Year.
Ebersold graduated from Brookville High School in Lynchburg, Va. He later attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and completed the Rowan Cabarrus Community College rookie school in 2003.
He was hired by Salisbury Fire Department in 2009. He has since enrolled in a fire science degree program, heads a peer support team at the department and is involved in “numerous programs,” Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell said.
• Jeff Miller, Salisbury Fire Department Veteran of the Year.
A certified firefighter 2 and emergency medical technician, Miller was recognized for his services last year as he filled in for a supervisor in the department, Parnell said.
“What has brought Jeff a little higher than just doing his job, a lot higher than just doing his job, is that this past year Jeff filled in as a fire captain for most of nine months while his captain was out on extended sick leave, and he filled in admirably during those nine months,” Parnell said.
Miller joined Salisbury Fire Department in 2000 and has held every rank in the department up to fire engineer.
• Erich Byrd, Rowan County Emergency Medical Services Rookie of the Year.
Byrd is a graduate of Salisbury High School and N.C. State University. Before becoming a paramedic, Byrd worked in the housing industry as a manager.
“He’s always had an enjoyment for and looked at the field of EMS,” Director Frank Thomason said, “but he never had any real push to do it for a living until a serious illness struck his youngest son, and that led him to EMS as a new career.”
• Sally Kersey, Rowan County Emergency Medical Services Veteran of the Year.
A graduate of North Rowan High School, Kersey worked in the human resources department at PPG in Lexington for about 20 years before becoming a paramedic.
She began taking courses in 2003 and has been a paramedic for Rowan County EMS for six years, Thomason said.
“I’m very happy that I chose this profession and I enjoy the responsibilities and the experiences and the ability to take care of the citizens in Rowan County in their worst times of need,” Kersey wrote in a statement read by Thomason.
• Travis Zimmerman, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Rookie of the Year.
Zimmerman, a New Hanover High School graduate, attended Cape Fear Community College before serving in the U.S. Navy for 10 years.
Sheriff Kevin Auten called Zimmerman a “top notch professional guy” who consistently leads his squad in warrants served, most criminal and civil papers.
He made the SWAT team in 2011 and is a “role model officer,” Auten said.
• Carl Dangerfield, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Veteran of the Year.
Dangerfield started his law enforcement career in Thomasville in 1986. He joined the Salisbury Police Department in 1994 and was a member of the SWAT team until 2004.
In 2004, he joined the Sheriff’s Office as a part of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement team. He was promoted to detective in 2007.
“He’s worked on about every major case we’ve had since then,” Auten said.
• Brad Marshall, N.C. State Highway Patrol Rookie of the Year.
Marshall is a native of Stokes county. He is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Marshall has been with the State Highway Patrol for about a year and a half.
“He is absolutely a go-getter,” Highway Patrol Sgt. Kevin Blakley said. “I would love to have a hundred just like him.”
• Tyler Sloop, N.C. State Highway Patrol Veteran of the Year.
Sloop is a graduate of East Rowan High School and a native of Rowan County.
He graduated from patrol school in 2006.
“I can always depend on Tyler,” Blakley said. “He’s an informal leader and to us that means everything.”