Elgin police name year's top employees

The Elgin Police Department gave awards to its best employees of the year, and Police Chief Ana Lalley said those who stood out have a positive, "can do" attitude.

The employees who received the awards at a ceremony last week at the Centre of Elgin were: Lt. Adam Schuessler, who was named manager of the year; Detective Jamie Marabillas, the officer of the year; officer Dan Raiman, the rookie of the year; and public systems safety specialist Tyler Jones, the civilian of the year.

Schuessler, a nearly 23-year veteran, oversees the major investigations and special investigations divisions. Lalley, who was promoted in July, said Schuessler performed exceptionally well last year, staying on top of investigations when the department went through a period of major transition with the departure of the former police chief and an interim chief. "He took it in stride and did a great job," she said. Schuessler also has a lead role in programs that promote the physical and mental well-being of police employees, she said.

Marabillas, a nearly 19-year veteran, was appointed senior patrolman for the juvenile division last year and is the "go to" person for all things juvenile, Lalley said. She is always up-to-date regarding changes in laws involving minors, runs the department's peer jury program for teens and trains school resource officers on writing reports and doing interviews that involve minors, Lalley said. Marabillas also led a project to install a Little Free Library stocked with books for kids and adults in the police station lobby.

Raiman was hired in April 2017 after working for 3½ years as a 911 dispatcher, and his experience is a great asset, Lalley said. "He maintains composure during high-risk calls, which is especially important as a young officer," she said. Raiman also got a lifesaving award for performing CPR during a call on a person who was not breathing.

Jones works effectively with the police department, the fire department and other city departments with "anything that has to do with technology," Lalley said. That includes, for example, fixing computer issues at the police station, upgrading water department video cameras and implementing security upgrades at the Centre of Elgin, she said. Jones also takes the time to explain what he's doing, which shows passion for his job, she said.

The awards are given upon recommendation by co-workers or supervisors, and selection by an awards committee. The manager of the year award is given by the police chief, who said she also consults with command staff.

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