The Milpitas Police Department has selected Joseph Heylen as the 2012 Police Officer of the Year, they announced Friday.
Officer Heylen joined the police department in October of 2001, and is currently assigned as a motorcycle officer in the Traffic Safety Unit.
Heylen has been instrumental in helping investigate all of the recent complex traffic collisions, and his expertise has enabled officers to establish what happened, said Milpitas Police Sergeant John Torrez in a press release.
Officer Heylen also coordinates the school valet program, helping ensure children are safely and efficiently dropped off and picked up from the elementary schools.
“Joe’s willingness to come in before his normal shift and on his days off to assist other officers is a testament to his strong work ethic and dedication,” said Chief Steve Pangelinan, “and he is well respected for his tactical skills.”
In August of 2012, a suicidal subject threatened to kill himself with a pistol and fled from a residence as officers were responding.
Officer Heylen located the subject in a nearby park and utilized outstanding officer safety techniques to control the subject and eventually took him into custody without incident.
In addition to his full time assignment and tasks, he is also a member of the SWAT Team, Mobile Field Force, and Firearms Instructor group, and he is a chemical agents instructor, a Taser instructor, and an armorer.