Three Iowa City Police Department employees were honored for their contributions to the department in 2021 during a ceremony in Emma Harvat Hall on April 1, 2022.
Detective Mike Smithey received the 2021 Dick Lee Award, Station Master Tineke Melvin received the 2021 Civilian Employee of the Year Award, and Detective Jared Harding was named the 2021 Officer of the Year.
Dick Lee Award
The Richard “Dick” Lee Award was established in 1999 by several retired ICPD officers to honor the life work of Captain Dick Lee, who served as an Iowa City Police Officer for 32 years. The recipient is nominated by their fellow officers, who also vote on the recognition.
The annual award is presented to an officer in recognition of outstanding sustained efforts over the last year which positively impacted the community through a program or activity.
Detective Mike Smithey, assigned to the investigations division, was recognized for demonstrating "an unparalleled passion to better the lives of victims of crime, a relentless pursuit of justice to hold offenders accountable, and a strong confidence to hold himself and others in our profession to the highest degree of integrity and character," according to his nomination. Smithey was commended for consistently going above and beyond to assist his fellow officers and other departments, particularly with his expertise in extracting cell phone data.
Civilian Employee of the Year
The Civilian Employee of the Year Award was created in 2013 by retired Community Service Officer Lynda Ambrose to recognize the efforts and contributions of non-sworn personnel who are critical to maintaining the success and mission of the department on a daily basis.
Tineke Melvin is a Station Master assigned to the evening shift. Police department employees commended Melvin for her upbeat attitude, strong work ethic, and showing patience and understanding with all police department visitors. Melvin "greets everyone and treats everyone with the same amount of patience no matter the crisis. The evening watch is a better group of people due to the upbeat personality Tineke brings," her nomination reads.
Officer of the Year
The Officer of the Year Award is presented annually to the officer who most significantly demonstrates work and behavioral ethics that mirror the Iowa City Police Department’s oath of honor and exemplifies a positive image of the Iowa City Police Department, as well as the community.
Detective Jared Harding is assigned to the Street Crimes Action Team (SCAT). In 2021, Det. Harding was instrumental in responding to and investigating nearly all of the approximately 40 shootings that occurred in Iowa City, as well as many other violent crimes. Harding was the primary investigator in a May 2021 homicide investigation and an incident in which at least 57 rounds were fired at an Iowa City apartment complex. Among numerous other cases. Harding was also responsible for identifying and arresting the person responsible for shooting and injuring two community members in the July 25 Pedestrian Mall shooting.
"Through his work in 2021, Detective Harding has routinely solved and suppressed crime negatively affecting the safety and quality of life of Iowa City’s residents," said Sgt. Paul Batcheller, who oversees SCAT.