The Milpitas Police Department's Employee of the Year, Officer Dennis Kraft, was chosen for his dedication to the safety of children throughout the city.
Kraft has served in Milpitas for 29 years, and is responsible for starting and enhancing many programs in the department.
In 2005, he started the Child Safety Seat program, in which he installs and inspects child safety seats for local families and teaches them how to maintain the seats to ensure their children's safety.
"He has installed hundreds of child safety seats since he started the program in 2005, and is responsible for preventing countless unnecessary injuries and deaths to children in our community," said fellow officer, Lt. Steven Petrakovitz.
Kraft also runs the department's bicycle safety program for youth. When children are caught riding their bicycles without helmets, rather than assigning legal punishments, Kraft enrolls them and their parents in a free bicycle safety course that he designed and teaches, to help them learn the importance of bicycle safety and how to stay safe.
Kraft even provides underprivileged families with free bicycle helmets, on an as-needed basis.
Milpitas Police Chief Dennis Graham said Kraft was the perfect person for this award.
“I’ve had the happy privilege of serving with Dennis during his entire career. Year by year, he outdoes himself," said Graham. "[He's] so committed, that the service he provides rises to a level I’ve rarely seen in my 30 years of law enforcement. Dennis sets the example of excellence for all of us.”